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186 "Just keep swimming"


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  1. July 2023 Pre-seasons that I oversee tend to always consist of morale boosting wins over lesser opposition. For me, building confidence and cohesion is more important than testing ourselves against the upper echelon of football. I will also often play a decent number of games, which is because I usually take a large number of players on trial and I wish to run my eye over them, whilst also building the fitness of my contracted players. The 2023 pre-season took the form of the above, with the obvious exception being the game against our parent club Chelsea. This fixture goes against my pre-season ethos but puts essential funds in our coffers. We performed respectably, scoring twice against a strong side that even had Donnarumma in goal. As detailed above, there was a lot of comings and goings in the summer. Last season our squad was constructed on a shoe-string and was propelled forward mainly by loanees. This season, after the £10m sale of Callum Doyle to Norwich, we had a budget to spend on improving the depth of my squad. I was pleased with our summer business; we added experience in key areas of the pitch, added pace and depth to our roster of strikers and brought in wingers (of which we had none last season!). We somehow finished 8th last season, despite it being our first in the Championship, and so even though I felt we had improved our squad it would still be a massive challenge to finish higher than we did last time round. We had finished last season with seven games undefeated, scoring bags of goals on the way, but even with that in mind I did not anticipate we would start the new season so strongly... August 2023 We started the season with what I thought would be a tough away day in Stoke, but after they took the lead we then scored five in a row and the season was off to a flier. Ricky-Jade Jones scored on his debut, in what would be the first of nine he would score in the month of August (just five games). His scintillating form saw him named as the Championship's Player of the Month for August. I signed him for his electric pace and with the likes of Gudmundsson and Falé providing him quality service, he was not disappointing. The Stoke game was exciting, but we did concede three goals so I had reservations about the quality of my defence, in comparison to my attack. That concern was eased when we delivered two clean sheets in dominant displays against QPR and Luton. As the month went on, it became clear that Angel and Kambwala were a partnership that really clicked - Kambwala even came third in the Player of the Month awards. After selling 7,000 season tickets, I was delighted when we pulled in a crowd only 155 away from full capacity against Luton. We had 30 shots, an xG of 4.00 and no shots conceded - not much more we could have done to persuade the fans to come back every week! With four Championship wins and a League Cup victory in which Falé was the star (I decided to play him up front rather than right wing for this game, and it paid off), a stern test arrived in the form of recently relegated Aston Villa. Their team was star studded (as noted in a prior update) and the game came before their deadline day fire sale. I left Villa Park very pleased with a respectable draw, as I had been expecting that game to be the end of our run of form. Perhaps most surprising, but thrilling, of all was our 8-0 demolition of West Brom. This was made more shocking by the fact I rested my exhausted strike partnership of RJJ and Deeney. Their replacements certainly staked their claim to start up front more often with Falé getting a hat-trick, and a 10/10 match rating, and Richards getting a brace. We ended the month with a Carabao Cup game against Premier League Burnley. With the form we were in, I fancied us to get the upset but it wasn't to be. Maintaining our unexpected league form is the priority so this result was quickly forgotten. September 2023 As you can see, our form has continued into September. After the Brentford win was the first time I properly took notice of the league table - Villa, who had been leading the pack alongside us, drew with Wolves and we went two points clear at the top of the table. Our form has dipped somewhat, with three score draws to round off the month, but at least we aren't losing. Preston was a stressful game. We were guilty of being too attacking and left no players in our own half, allowing Alan Browne to run the length of the half and score an easy goal to take the lead. We had two goals disallowed when chasing down a 2-1 loss (a recurring theme for my side who have bags of pace but are often caught offside). Eventually they had a man sent off and we were able to bag a late equaliser. Villa and Pompey both won so we all went equal on points at the top. We went top again after drawing with Derby, but only by virtue that the other sides didn't play. We rested our tired centre-back pairing against bottom side Reading. I don't think that can be blamed, we just didn't play that great and drew again. Luckily both Pompey and Villa drew their games so we remain top at the close of the month. Dale Taylor, who disappointed for me last season, scored a brace for Swansea against Villa and has therefore gone some way to redeeming himself! After two months of the season, we are far exceeding expectations and sit top of the table, albeit having played a game more than our rivals. There is a long, long way to go and if I'm honest I think our squad is not in the top 10 strongest in the division. But we will keep going and see if a shock season of success can be delivered - we are currently on a run of 19 league games undefeated. Firstly though, we need to get back to turning draws into wins.
  2. I wanted to take a moment to provide a brief update on the new hires appointed to my non-playing staff this summer. My restrictive owners mean that we can't upgrade our facilities, but one thing I can control, within reason, is the quality of my staff. When moving up the divisions, or even moving up your level of ambition within a division, managers can often forget this is an opportunity to upgrade personnel. As budgets and reputation grow, plus staff become available when contracts expire just like players, there are plenty of opportunities. After a quick check to confirm that there would be candidates of suitable quality to replace them, I let the contracts of many of my key staff expire at the end of the last season. Thanks to Brexit I had to do the first few weeks of pre-season without an Assistant Manager and several other key team member as we were waiting for work permits to be granted. This took a frustratingly long time, although eventually I got the majority of my targets. Assistant Manager Forget Ricky-Jade Jones and Miguel Falé, Rubén Uría may well be my signing of the summer. I think his key attributes are phenomenal for a small Championship side. With Assistant Manager roles at Valencia, Villareal and Sevilla on his CV, among other clubs, this feels like a real coup for Oldham Athletic. I just need to hope Marcelino doesn't come calling for his usual right hand man. Director of Football As someone who does all their own transfers and contract negotiations, a Director of Football is perhaps not essential. I do though value the option to request transfer targets to see if there are options I'm yet to consider. There is value, therefore, in ensuring this advice is as good as it can be by hiring the DoF with the best stats available. This will be Jamie Bentley's first role in football. Coach Another appointment I am very excited about is that of coach David Lowe. Very capable in nearly all coaching disciplines, Lowe has a great deal of experience having fulfilled the role of Coach, Assistant Manager and Head of Youth Development at Blackburn during his career. Chief Scout Anybody who has been employed by Man United for five years has pedigree. Although Kei Tamura's knowledge of Japan might not be that relevant, he has great awareness of England and has a talent for spotting talent. I also hired a newgen scout, Pablo Soler, to support Tamara's player acquisition department after my Colombian scout Juan Mauricio Echeverria was poached by Brighton Goalkeeping Coach I ventured out to Sweden to poach goalkeeping coach Jonas Bohlin from first division side Orebro SK. He is a big upgrade on my former 'keeper trainer. I also brought in Frederic Petereyns as my new U18s GK coach. Petereyns had spent the prior 20 years as a first team GK coach in Ligue Un and the French National League so I was pleased to persuade him to coach my goalkeepers of tomorrow. Finally, I also hired a talented young Dutchman named Tom De Wit to be my new Sports Scientist, after previous incumbent Tom Bromley was bought out of his contract by Brighton. Along with all the new faces, I was also pleased to offer new contracts to physio Matt Brown and scouts Vicente and Erwin Vandenbergh, men who have served me well since the start of this adventure in League Two.
  3. Thanks @Sheriff7! Cheers @warlock - at least my struggles are relatable
  4. Central Midfielders One of the key contributions to last seasons over-achievement was the relationship we brokered with Chelsea - we were able to take on a number of talented youngsters with no cost to ourselves. I returned to Cobham again, this time persuading them to lend me Argentinian playmaker Fausto Vera. A product of the Argentinos Jrs academy, he spent last season (yes you guessed it) on loan at Vitesse. I thought they would reject my offer and send him somewhere more prestigious, but was pleasantly surprised. After being rejected by a number of free transfer targets, I realised I would need to once again dip into the loan market to bulk up my central midfield options. Xavier Simons had been on loan at Boundary Park last season, but when I asked to keep him for another year he rejected me. I decided to try again a few months later, and was pleased to find he'd changed his mind. I'd made him club captain for a few months last season, so he was a player who already has my trust. Conscious that we'd exceeded the amount of players on loan you can play in one match, I knew I needed to bulk my squad out with players who we actually owned. Luke Dreher is not a flashy signing, but the former Crystal Palace prospect does give us depth. Three loanees is more than I would like in one position, but I am at least pleased with the quality. It is worth noting this is less on loan CMs than last time around! Carl Winchester is a player I like but who couldn't hold down a starting berth last season. When Montreal Impact started showing an interest I decided to cash in and sell the Northern Irishman for £1.4m. Wingers I intend to be flexible with which wings my wide players play on, switching from wingers to inverted wingers to suit their needs - I am therefore grouping them together for this squad round up. Gudmundsson really suits my tactical intentions as he is best suited as a right or left midfielder in a 4-4-2, rather than a winger in a 4-2-3-1, which is predominantly what was available. A Premier League player up until this point, the Icelandic international brings a touch of class and experience to what was a very young squad last season. With the flexibility to play anywhere across the midfield, Dimitris Plekas will really prove his worth if he we need to mix up our tactics mid season. In the meantime, the creative Greek with serve as a capable option for either of the wings. Obviously capable of playing up front, local lad Danny Welbeck was recruited because of the work rate I think he will bring to the wings. A slight luxury as I fully intend the former-England international to be a utility / squad option. I think it is a sign of how far we have come that this is the case. I like to think the youngsters I signed early in the transfer window blend nicely with the more experienced players I signed when there was a little more cash to spare, to form a diverse and capable squad. Thomas Hill tore his calf muscle in pre-season, ruling him out for four months, which is part of the reason I stocked up so much on wingers. I toyed with the idea of loaning out young prospect Ronnie Webber but in the end decided to keep him around. I hope I can give him enough minutes to progress his development. Jake Hesketh was an unfortunate victim of our change of circumstanes. Signed when we were poor, he has since become surplus to requirements and didn't make the cut for our 25 man squad. I intend to sell him in the winter break, just as I did last year! Strikers Earlier in the summer I have already signed one rapid forward, when I brought in Ricky-Jade Jones on loan from Newcastle. I added another pacey loan man, recruiting Miguel Falé from Leicester. My original intentions were that he would play as a right midfielder, but after testing him out up front I found his electric pace was very valuable there too. As an indicator of his quality, it should be noted that the press identified Falé as sixth favourite to finish Young Player of the Year in the Championship. A completely different type of forward to all my other options; I must admit I fell in love with the idea of signing a leader like Troy Deeney as soon as I saw his mental attributes. Admittedly his wage is steep, but it is a one year deal and we are well within our budgets. I don't expect him to start all games, but I hope he will be a great option. Upon his arrival, I made Deeney captain and this has gone down well with the squad. We are simply stacked when it comes to forwards. I will be shocked if goals are hard to come by. The victim in all of this will likely be JHI who has contributed phenomenally in recent seasons but whom I can see slipping down the pecking order behind RJJ, Falé and Deeney. I sold striker Sam Smith to Hull for £575k as we are clearly overloaded up top. I will likely sell another forward in January but for now we start the campaign with options. Wish us luck for the season ahead!
  5. In advance of the 2023/24 season commencing, I will now run through what my squad looks like after another busy transfer window. I have already profiled the signings made before 30 June when Doyle was sold, so all signings highlighted are in the AD era (after Doyle). After ending last season in form, with five wins and two draws in our last seven games, following a tactical switch to 4-4-2. This will once again be the approach that we primarily take. Signings have been made with this system in mind. Goalkeepers Joe Lumley remains my number one, but I wanted to upgrade the quality of his competition if possible. Alex Smithies has a great deal of experience and a lot of quality attributes. Rated 3 stars, the same as Lumley, I was pleased to bring this stopper in on a free from Cardiff. I tried to loan out 23 year old Canadian 'keeper Thomas McGill but there were no takers. I need him to play to develop, so he has been dropped to the U23s. I have a big squad for the season ahead, so unfortunately he was unable to be registered. I believe though, that I have two goalkeepers capable of being my number one. Right Backs An experienced player with good all round mental attributes, Sam Byram provides competition for Fran. My Spanish right back hasn't put a foot wrong over the last two seasons, but I hope Byram will put the pressure on him to keep it up. Byram's ability to play left back also appealed to me, as you can never have too much versatility. In September, well after the transfer window had closed, I spotted a player with good potential to add to the full back ranks. Developed in Middlesbrough, the young Uruguayan Cayetano Fernandez is certainly one for the future. With the addition of Byram to the first team squad, Josh Hare was surplus to requirements and therefore sold to St Johnstone for £180k. Left Backs I had a £245k deal agreed for Arsenal left back Joel Lopez, however he failed to gain a work permit and ended up signing for Girona instead. After some reflection, and despite my reservations about the performances of CBJ last season, I decide to stick with him and Butler for the upcoming campaign. The flexibility of Byram means I do have another option for this side if needed. Young left back Jamie Davidson, who I gave a debut to on the last day of the prior season, was loaned to Hereford for experience. Centre Backs At the point of signing Willy Kambwala we had already taken five players on loan, but I just could not neglect the opportunity to sign a player of his quality once I'd discovered him. Quick and strong, great anticipation and positioning, and strong in all the key defensive attributes. The Man United loanee could turn out to be my most important signing. Kambwala will partner Angel, who I signed much earlier in the transfer window from the MLS. I have high hopes for them as a defensive pairing. With no need for six centre backs on the books, I decided to sell Robert Costa to Grimsby for £115k. He had done nothing wrong, the club had just outgrown him. Had it not been for an eight week injury, sustained in August, then Costa's former partner Bolger may well have joined him through the exit too. In the update to follow I shall introduce you to my midfield and attack.
  6. When I last wrote an update it was brimming with optimism. We had just sold Callum Doyle to Premier League Norwich for £10m and I was excited to spend some of the cash on improving my squad. What followed was a long, long summer. Although we now had riches we'd never experienced before, our reputation was still smaller than some League One clubs. This meant that there were many players we were interested in but they simply were not interested in us. Perhaps crueler were the players who expressed interest only to go elsewhere. There were nine players who we had on trial (the pick of the bunch being striker Rafa Mir), offered them contracts, they seemed willing and then at the last moment they went elsewhere. It felt like we were being used as a fitness building centre, over and over again. All in all, a demoralising process. Poor Facilities Impact Reputation With some of the Doyle sale proceeds going into my transfer budget and some going directly into the club's coffers, our financial standing had never been better. In fact the overall balance was £16m. I approached the owner to see if we could improve the training facilities and, disappointingly but in no way surprisingly, the request was rejected. Whilst we continue to have poor training and youth facilities, we will continue to struggle to recruit players. And, as long as I have owners who refuse to support the growth of the club, I will always have an uphill battle on my hands. It's The Hope That Kills You You can imagine my delight when I saw reference to a potential takeover on 11 August, 2023. The news article wasn't the most positive about the probability of this happening, but I have seen many takeovers start this way over the years. When I went to the general info page it said that we were in the process of a board takeover. Perhaps the one thing that was keeping Latics fans depressed, even after the success I have brought, would finally be eradicated. 17 September, 2023, was a sombre day in Oldham when the news broke that the takeover had been shut down by the owner. There has been no speculation since. I continue to live on with hope that we can one day escape the Lemsagem brothers. Shark Infested Waters Competing in the Championship as a small side is already a challenge, but it is worth mentioning that things were to get a lot more competitive this season thanks to the quality of the team's relegated from the Premier League. In quite a surprise, both Aston Villa and Wolves came down. Completing a Midlands treble, they were also joined by Birmingham. Aston Villa sold five players for a total of £125m on transfer deadline day. Despite that, they remain a daunting threat as they are managed by Luciano Spalletti and kept hold of the likes of Jack Grealish, Nick Pope, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Xherdan Shaqiri and Billy Gilmour. Meanwhile Wolves still have quality players such as Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore, Conor Coady and Nelson Semedo, despite being in the second tier. Incremental Improvements Despite the challenges outlined in this update, I have managed to put together a squad that I am excited about. I believe I have improved most areas of the pitch and am particularly excited about my selection of wingers and pacy forwards. After so many deals, where I was going to up the wage bill to bring in quality, fell through - I have treated myself to a few short term deals. By that I mean, I have signed a handful of experienced players who will add quality but likely will only be of use for a season and will have no resale value. We didn't spend a penny on transfer fees and when the window closed we still ranked 21st in the League for wage bill, so I can sleep easy knowing I haven't troubled the clubs accountants! The transfer window closed with over £3.5m still in the bank. Given our struggle with reputation, this was more of a necessity than a cautious decision. This gives me something to fall back on in January if needed or, if my prayers are answered, we get a better owner in the future. My next two posts will preview the squad going into our fourth season.
  7. Just seen this as I haven’t been on the Forum or played any FM for the last couple of weeks. I’m back in the office after a year working from home which has cut into my FM playing time! (Pleased to be back though as it feels like a step towards normality). Sad to see Oldham go down! Not entirely shocked though as there really are a tonne of issues at that club. I guess the positive is that it makes my success so far look good I’ll follow your Southend save with interest @Rikulec. Seems like you’ve started strongly! Losing in the Play-Offs is always disappointing but you exceeded all expectations to get there. Louis Barry seems like a coup of a signing for your second season!
  8. Thanks @Ronaldo Beckham - I really hope that RJJ does the business for me. Cheers @Chevie! Although we have a decent budget finally, the news item that ranks clubs by reputation still had us below nearly every single Championship club and even four League One sides, so even though we can now afford more we still may not appeal to all my targets. That said, I definitely have much more flexibility in the market this season - so reasons to be positive indeed. Appreciated @warlock, it's been an enjoyable journey so far. Fingers and toes crossed for that sale! I almost don't know where to start with the transfer kitty @Jogo Bonito, I'm in uncharted waters in this career now I've got funds. I wanted the sale of Doyle to stand out in my update and I knew I'd already wrote quite a lot about my early window signings, so I thought the breaking news graphic might draw attention to it. Seemed to do the job!
  9. With my last post acting as a reminder of the context of my career - it is time for an update on the latest from my manager's office at Boundary Park. When I last updated we had finished 8th in the Championship. Our league standing would suggest our expectations should be to push on and challenge for a Play-Off place in our fourth season, and yet the reality is very different. Based on the quality of our squad and, I assume, our reputation the media have predicted we will come 22nd and therefore be relegated. The club's expectation is that we simply avoid relegation. We have a wage budget of £125k p/w, which matches last season when we had the smallest wage bill in the division, therefore there is not much room to manoeuvre. That said, I got to work wheeling and dealing. This update is written on the 30th June 2023, for reasons that will become apparent later in this update, therefore the window remains open and there is scope for further deals. Permanent Fixture After two seasons on loan with me, and 82 matches played, I knew exactly what player I was getting when I signed Charlie McCann on a permanent deal, following the conclusion of his Man Utd contract. Although he was not first choice for me last season (he only started 17 games) he is a great squad player who is already well placed within the team's social groups. I also love that he has determination 20 and a driven mentality - clearly a great influence to have round the squad. At 21 years old he has room for improvement and resale potential. He only wanted £2k per week, likely through loyalty to me as I am listed as his favoured personnel. A great addition to the squad at a bargain price. Unlikely Return I have pulled off one of the deals of the century, and it is all by pure luck. In February 2023 I decided to cash in on attacking midfielder Jake Hesketh when San Jose came calling with a £1.5m offer. It was therefore a complete shock to me when in June 2023 my scouts alerted me to the fact that Hesketh was available on a free transfer. I looked into it and found that San Jose had released him on a waiver in March only a few weeks after paying a seven figure sum for him. He never played a game for the MLS side. Perhaps someone more familiar with the MLS can explain to me what has happened here. It was not like he suffered an injury and they decided to cut their losses. There is no logical reason for them letting him go. I was perplexed. But I could not miss out the opportunity to complete such a savvy piece of business by bringing him back! San Jose effectively paid £1.5m to loan him for 4 months. He returns on exactly the same wages as before. It's a no lose situation as he either features for me or I sell him for a profit for a second time! I intend to play a 4-4-2 which doesn't necessarily suit him, but last season proved it pays to be tactically flexible, so I'm sure he will be an asset to the squad. Wingers Wanted As mentioned in previous posts, I want to play 4-4-2 next season, but I don't have any wingers. None at all! I was primarily looking for pacey players who can get up and down the byline. Operating on a budget, the loan market was the best place in my opinion to look for reinforcements. When players are released on June 30th there will be more options to consider to bulk out the squad, but these two signings are a good starting point. First up, I turned to my parent club Chelsea who have kindly given me the services of Kieron Bello for the season. The major benefit of making loan signings from my feeder side, is that I don't need to contribute anything to the wages. Bello is raw but fast and will be useful addition to the squad. Like Bello, the other winger I have signed is comfortable on either wing. Thomas Hill joins from Liverpool so I do have to cover his wage, but fortunately it is only £2.5k p/w. Hill is more mature in his development than Bello and is more likely to secure a starting berth. EFL's Most Wanted My most extravagant signing to date in this transfer window is a man who has been very popular over in the FM21 English Football League thread where managers such as @Jogo Bonito and @Ronaldo Beckham have had success with him. Only a loan - Premier League Newcastle signed him after he scored 19 goals for Peterborough but then didn't play him all season and put him on the loan list for this campaign - you may ask how the signing of Ricky-Jade Jones is extravagant? Well, I will be covering all of his £9,250 a week wages, which makes him the highest earner at the club. He seems worth a gamble though. 19 for pace and acceleration. 14 for finishing, work rate and composure. Comfortable up front or on the flanks. He could be a game changer. Preemptive Signing Only days after completing the season, rumours started to circulate that Premier League sides Brighton and Norwich were targeting my centre back Callum Doyle. Soon Sheffield United and Fulham were also hot on his trail. It felt inevitable that I would be losing the player I took from academy graduate to first name on the teamsheet during the 2022-23 season. I therefore decided to prioritise signing a new CB so that we weren't left with a gaping hole in the team if he were to depart. After the surprise Hesketh deal, I decided to take the time to check who every single MLS club had released on a waiver in the last few months. There was a surprising number of decent players. It was here where I discovered Venezuelan defender Wilker Ángel who had been released by Vancouver. My scouts determined that he would be the best CB at the club if we brought him in, therefore I thought his wage demands of £4.7k p/w were reasonable. As he is 30 years old a two year contract seemed good business, giving us a break point in case he starts to decline. As you can see, squad building on a budget was coming along well. However, I paused to write an update mid-way through the transfer window as a transformative event for the club has occurred: As noted earlier, a string of Premier League clubs were sniffing around my 19 year old CB Doyle. The media were saying that the fee may be £11m, and that caught my eye. As much as I have enjoyed developing the player recruited from the Man City's academy just a year ago, a fee in that region would make a monumental difference in my quest to take this club to the next level. I had to think of the greater good. I offered him out for £10m and instantly received bids from Brighton and Norwich. I then got worried that I had gone too low, as they didn't baulk at the price tag. I cancelled the deals and offered him out for £11m with a 30% sell on clause. Nobody bid... Luckily when I offered him back out for £10m I hadn't blown it as Norwich did come back in for him, but I did lose Brighton in the process. Doyle agreed to join the Norfolk side, in what was a club record deal for The Latics. £1.5m went to City thanks to a long forgotten clause in his contract, but I was still delighted with the return on a free transfer signing. When I was waiting for the deal to go through, I managed to persuade the board to up the amount I keep from sales to 70%, from 55%. This meant that £6m went into my transfer budget. I am pleased that the remaining £2.5m went directly into the club's coffers, as it provides us with financial stability. I just hope the board are now more accommodating when it comes to requests to improve our basic youth facilities or our average training facilities, and that they don't just pocket the cash. I quickly moved half of the transfer revenue into our wage budget and we now have a whopping surplus of nearly £90k per week to play with. This gives me a great opportunity to upgrade the squad in a busy second half of the transfer window. I will try not to go overboard as careful management of the club finances is also an objective of mine. For a moment though, I am going to revel in the excitement of finally having a transfer and wage budget of any note after three years of penny pinching!
  10. An update, but this time it is from real life and not my save. Last night, you may have seen, Oldham have once again sacked their manager meaning that they are looking for their 14th manager since Lee Johnson left in 2015. Kewell was not doing incredible, the Latics are currently in 16th place, but not many could when faced with a restricted budget and such haphazard recruitment from the club's sporting director. An Oldham supporters group, Push The Boundary, have called out owner Abdallah Lemsagam and his brother and sporting director Mohamed, releasing the following statement: This is a timely reminder of why one of my biggest hopes for my save is to receive new owners of the club. Hopefully if I can continue to deliver success then it will make the Latics an appealing proposition for prospective buyers. Currently Lemsagam is 'happy to stay', here's hoping that changes. The Case for Consistency Despite only lasting seven months and managing the side for just 41 matches, Kewell has overseen more fixtures than 12 of the club's last 13 managerial appointments. This is a ridiculous stat and shows that these owners have never been willing to give a manager time. Perhaps my Oldham career to date, if anything, makes the case for giving a manager more than seven months at the helm:
  11. A great piece of business from you to get Bakambu on a wage of just £12.5k p/w! If I recall correctly from when I looked at him on one of my saves, he was on £200k p/w+ out in China
  12. That is an unfortunate development @Chevie. Hopefully you can still recruit more ex-United players, even if you do have to focus less on those not born in Manchester. Longer term you could hopefully start to sign players young enough to be naturalised in Slovakia over time. Results seem to be better than expected - I can see this career developing into a ‘how well can you do in Europe?’ challenge over time!
  13. You’re taking over this Forum Hope the seasons going well @Jogo Bonito, I look forward to reading your Jan 2021 update
  14. As we were undefeated and played really well in the last seven games of the season, I think I want to try and keep going with that for the new campaign... certainly tactical food for thought though @Hootieleece Yes he’s certainly capable @Number seven and I think I may have played him there a handful of times when we were in League Two. With crossing 15 he really should be an asset from wing back though 🤔 I’ll let you know how he gets on!
  15. Thanks @Jogo Bonito. It's a funny old game isn't it? You're right that the average rating would suggest CBJ was one of my best players but he didn't live up to expectations in the role I had designed for him. With a back five for most of the season, the wing backs were set to attacking with their primary focus on chance creation which is where he didn't deliver. His tackles per game were the third highest in the Championship, however, so his defensive work probably influenced his overall match rating. For next season I am thinking of sticking with the 4-4-2 that brought me success in the final month of this campaign, so that might benefit CBJ if he's to revert to a more orthodox left back. I don't have any wingers at the club so that will need a huge overhaul this summer if I'm to stick with this tactic. Lot's of wheeling and dealing to be done, which takes me a lot of time and effort, but I must admit squad building is probably the most enjoyable aspect of the game for me, so I wouldn't have it any other way.
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