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ellzo

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About ellzo

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  • Currently Managing
    Swindon Town

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  1. @Jamesbfc1887 Hows Farrugia doing for you? Hes been amazing for me and looks like will only get better. @DefinitelyTaylor Thanks, going into last game of the season now, Sunderland are 4 points ahead on 84 but then Reading and Pompey sit on 81 and me on 80. Going to take a few results going my way to get automatic promotion but there is a chance. UPDATE: We got smashed by Bradford 4-1 in our final game, matching my worse loss as Swindon manager vs Cambridge last season. Probably my fault as threw everything forward after half time when was 1-1 as all the other results went the way we needed. The playoff lottery awaits.
  2. So we just won the Checkatrade Trophy, against the Utd 23's. Great result but awful game. However we just lost our game in hand in the league, to Pompey, which brings them into the title race with 5 games to go. We play Reading next with Bradford the only other remaining game against top 10 opposition on the final day. Might get promoted, probably get playoffs, its going to be a rocky ride last few weeks.
  3. Swindon Town FC - Season 2 – Mid Season Appraisal So was started the season very well, and despite the expected performers not doing as well as liked the team as a collective has stepped up and we are currently gunning for promotion. So taking from the table, us and Portsmouth have probably been the most consistent teams with Crewe leading the pack until collapsing week 13. I’m cautiously optimistic as our recent form has been good in all competitions, but this may lead to problems in the coming months. I imagine we will drop off in the table in a similar manner to last season, a promotion would be nice but the squad is probably a decent championship standard at best. Take away all my Utd youngsters on loan and its not even that. The FA Cup has drawn us against City for a second year running, at home again, so that’s another money making tie were we hope for a draw. Carabao Cup we were drawn against Bournemouth early and I played a weakened team. The Checkatrade trophy however is a good shot for us to win a trophy and I have played a strong squad in this from the start. Semi final against Yeovil, with whom our record is 1-1-1, is very winnable and we wil play either Burnley or Utd u23s in the final if we make it. The concern here is Utd win and the youngsters are ineligible to play so hoping for Burnley. Onto the squad. Kalantari, who is supposedly the next Ian wright, had a blazing start and scored 9 goals in little over a month. Sadly, since then he has struggled to kick on and the main source of goals has been the midfield, particularly Martin Smith. Whilst he was second choice MC to Doughty at the start of the season, 15 goals so far this campaign he has asserted himself as No.1. The only drawback is he takes all the penalties and freekicks which skew the goalscoring, but a goal is a goal and a win a win. Callum Roberts is my favourite on loan player, Gribbin and Gomes score a cracker each month but aren’t consistent enough, and we hope to sign him to a permanent deal at the end of the year. Gribbin and Gomes are great with Gomes being the first choice AMC and both getting a good amount of goals and assists. Farrugia on the wing has been just shy of excellent, often cutting inside and I think hes going to be a real star for me in the coming years. Kalantari hs now got some competition with another 16 y/o striker, Tal, signing from Boreham Wood on the final day of transfer window. Sylla has been useful for a few months but his contract was 6 months and I don’t foresee an extension. The stats show how close the competition for the MC slot between Smith and Doughty are, Costa ad Diagouraga compete for the second more defensive slot there. Defence wise, O’Hara plays in the cups and Vigouroux in the league where he is on track for the clean sheet record. Nelson and Conroy are first choice CBs with Knoyle on the right and Oglive on the left. We have the best defence in the league conceding only 19 goals in 30 games. Mainly outgoing in January. Barlow was a good player, but not as good as Gribbin and Gomes, so when Aston Villa offered 250k I tried to resist but they called me out with a 500k offer that was too good to turn down (particularly for a free signing 6 months ago). The rest of the outgoings are squad players so I may see some issues in the coming months but financial security is important, this even more so as we are spending 350k on new youth facilities soon. After all these deals the balance stands at 1.9m. This is my new 16 y/o, saw him when reading a match report of Kalantari on England duty and had to get him. Worst case scenario is we sell him for a small profit, best case is a future superstar.
  4. So just checking on the progress of my 16 y/o regen striker who after 5 games in league 1 has 7 goals. The next Ian Wright
  5. Hes scored 2 goals on his debut after 6 in 5 pre-season friendlies. I doubt he will stay with the club for long but I can hope.
  6. Swindon Town FC - Season 2 – Season Preview So most important thing first – Transfers As I mentioned in my last update I had 2 main targets and then for there I would see how the market went in terms of players running out of contracts so not to worry about my transfer budget. By the end of the window I have a much larger squad than I anticipated, lacking real depth in CB position. I am very excited by Farrugia who I posted in the last update, but even more so by Kalantari. He looks like he is ready to start scoring in league 1 at his current age (16) and I hope he will become a club legend, though I see that being dependant on how quickly I am promoted. He has scored 6 goals in 5 friendlies and as I have also played my first league fixture he scored 2 goals on his debut. Sid Nelson comes back after rejecting extending a loan spell with us and becomes 1st choice CB alongside Conroy, Ogilvie is first choice LB. Callum Roberts is now first choice on the right and Angel Gomes on loan from Utd and worth more than my top 12 players seems a coup. I but bids in for most of the Utd U23’s and then selected from those that accepted the loan offers. The rest are squad players filling in where we struggled last season holding only 11 real first team players (probably 8 or 9 in reality). I will probably look to get a CB in on loan in January if we struggle with 3 good options as it stands. We are heavily stacked in the AM area. Tactics will be the same as last season, maybe bit more defensive as we look to hold possession. As mentioned earlier, Kalantari was banging them in during friendlies which we all of. Especially sweet was a 6-3 victory over Utd at home that also made me some money so win-win. The Checkatrade Trophy draw has been fair this year so might try a cup run now we have the squad for it. Goals are now middle of the pack finish, as mentioned in the last update the squad were distraught when I said we would stay up and they all said we are going down. This time after the transfers came in I said again lets stay up and they said I was aiming too low. No winning with this lot. ON a side note we cant play our rivals Oxford as they got Promoted, but Reading and Bristol Rovers are in the league so that is a plus. Bristol City made the Prem. Financially we are looking good with the projection for the end of the season sitting at 200k in the white. If we get a cup run and FA Cup draw is good to us, I would like to see 500k, then we can look again at improving youth facilities. That lends well to my final point. I have to keep a fairly poor ST in my matchday squad as no youth has come up in an even reasonable state to play in League 1. It’s a pain, but not much I can do about it, it looks like it is going to make a difficult squad management task even harder.
  7. Signed from Aldershot, who nabbed him form Chester. Looks good to me for a league one level pretty much straight away.
  8. Swindon Town FC - Season 1 – End of Season Review The last update finished with us about to go into the playoffs, although we should have been promoted automatically, and we drew Colchester (MK Dons and Lincoln making up the other 2 teams). The first match went really well, we managed a 3-1 away win. This is probably the best we could have hoped for as form going into this was awful. The second game at home we lost 1-0, not great but we made the final. This would have been 0-0 but I felt sentimental and gave Luke McCormick a home send off as he was retiring by bringing on the veteran GK in the 87th min, he scored an own goal in the 88th. Bit of a panic last few minutes but we rode it out. The final was against MK Dons, pre-season favourites for the title. In the pre match brief I told the lads we would be playing an attacking formation, as last time we played them they struggled to counter it and we won, this was met with universal criticism. Not a great start. The game was a tense affair, 0-0 until the 85th when our CM Doughty stepped up and scored a beaut from the edge of the box. Smith scored again in the 91st to confirm our place in history and league 1. So looking to next season. I told the team we could beat the drop with a few additions. We look much better financially after our trip to Wembley with 831k in the coffers. I want to ask for better youth facilities but I think staying debt free may be more important currently as the last batch of youth was awful. There is one transfer pre-arranged from U.C.D with Farrugia joining us, and there is a 16 year old regen in the conference I am keen on. Other than that I expect more Utd players to join on loan and the majority of the squad to stay as is.
  9. End of Season Update? So last game of the season (hopefully), and the race for the final promotion spot has come down to today. I am on a horrendous run of form, 2 wins from 10 have left me in the lurch and needing a win on the final day to secure promotion. At the other end the game between Tranmere and Crawley is the stuff of dreams for SkyTV and a finger biting context between the fans. Now I would usually screenshot the game but it was so dull I will leave it out. From Hero to Zero but with a chance to sort this out. We have had a horrible run since end of Feb were I was runner up for manager of the month. Still not sure what exactly happened. Player fatigue was not an issue, a few injuries came up but my only key player dropped out for the last 3 games. I have the best defense in the league despite losing my main CB in January conceding 38 goals and having 18 clean sheets, more passes than anyone (20,394 to Lincoln in second with 16,286) and more possession with an avg of 58%. You may have noticed a lack of goal stats and this appears to be the problem. We are 15th in goals scored, 21st in chances created, 24th in shots on target ratio and cross completion along with being the most fouled team in the league (anyone with a good set piece routine please let me know!). I have made some tactical tweaks for the playoffs and hoping it will pay off. To sum it up. I'm gutted, my last update I said that a playoff run would probably be better for me financially, but with our current form I can't see us getting a win. More to follow
  10. I usually go with the team that has the lowest expectations. so Cheltenham, as then if I struggle first season there is not such a rush to sack me.
  11. What happened? You planning on another Football league save?
  12. Swindon Town FC - Season 1 - Mid Season Review I had planned on writing a pre-season write up but got carried away. I am from Swindon and been to a fair few matches over the years so the choice for my first save on FM19 was obvious, like a bit of a challenge. Joined up and first team talk told the lads I wanted a top half finish, immediately morale drops and I’m told I don’t believe in the squad enough. Great Start. Started the season with what was effectively a 4-1-2-2-1 formation, with 2 wingers. The rational being that shoring up the defence was the main priority and then as the season progressed, we would build a more potent attack. This shows how the tactics went, friendlies didn’t go great but the stats weren’t bad, the games were close enough for me to believe the tactics would work and when we played our first 3 games and topped the league I was delighted. I played a entirely different team in Carabao cup and Checkatrade Trophy games as the timings of these fixtures mixed with lack of squad depth led me to give up. Our form dropped off and by game 15 we were 11th, the defence wasn’t awful but we made so few chances we scored barely any goals. Why did it take so long to change? I was stubborn. But a 0-0 against Cambridge who were down to 10 men 15 minutes in was the kick I needed. I changed to a more attacking minded 4-2-3-1, the possession in the next few games went up without a noticeable difference in results but patience won and we started to click. We were heavily relying on midfielders for goals, and still are now, but a change in fortunes was great to see. A manager of the month award followed in December as we won 5 straight games. We now sit 4th, nearly every game we take the lead and move into top 3 live places before the teams above us equal our results. 6 points between 2nd and 7th show how close it is and I don’t expect Crewe’s run to last forever so the 5-point gap at the top might not last. Overall a very exciting season to be a part of and looking forward to a strong second half. This is my first play in FM19 so signing experienced players, for me 24-30, rather than my usual teens only strategy is seemingly paying off. There is a lack of leadership in the squad and no real No.9 has been available so looking to address this at the end of the year. We managed to get Manchester United as a parent club at the end of first transfer window so in January 3 youngsters have come in to help. The end of Sid Nelson’s loan from Millwall was the biggest blow and hoping Poole will plug the gap at CB, signs are promising. Lalkovic has been a great signing as joint top scorer, Martin Smith is also banging them in, his natural position is MC Advanced playmaker but I play him in a AMC position same role. Right side of the team is very strong with Knoyle and Woolery playing really well together, the 2 CMs I inherited of Doughty and Diagouraga are really pleasing me. Diagouraga at 31 though will probably be replaced in the offseason or at least start to groom his replacement. The majority of the first 11, 7 or there about when all fit, are existing players so most of the signings are squad players. Financially we aren’t great. End. We are expecting to be in 1.4m of debt by end of the year so I’m thinking playoffs would probably be better than a second or third place but that’s a gamble. We finish paying a debt in June 2019 which is 200k a month, so next season should do better financially. Quite a few contracts will be expiring and I plan to use loans again so hopefully the future is bright, promotion or not.
  13. So first post, just had to put this up as my wife does not understand my excitement. We drew City in the cup! Hoping this is going to sort out my finances for a few months as hemorrhaging money in this league. I will put up a full post when get to the end of January transfer window.
  14. I would like to see the option of rather than just offering a contract being able to talk to a transfer target with your vision for the club, where you want to be in 2 years time, who else you want to bring in and how he would fit in with your ambitions. Additionally if you didnt fulfil what you told him, he could become disillusioned and unhappy. This would work with my other idea of being able to have talks with players currently at the club, in a sort of press conference style that is currently in fm09. Also option to manage a womans team.
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