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About warlock

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    Darlington, Man Utd

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  1. Excellent... you've been missed! Great post to re-open business.
  2. Don't think I've ever seen a step-over, but the others, yes. Regularly see passes and shots curved with the outside and inside of the foot. I'd guess at 5-10 rabona tricks per season. Similarly, I've seen some nice close-contact play, like moving the ball quickly from foot-to-foot before laying it off or racing away from the defender. It would be nice to see more and different things. I've never seen a player do the spin-turn to shield the ball then dribble past the defender, for example.
  3. Villa, Norwich, Swansea, WBA, Sheff Utd, Stoke probably. Plenty of candidates. As for tips on sticking with a save, I'm probably not your man. But you need to get through a few key stages, I think: 1. Pre-season and the friendlies usually go well, and then the first competitive month feels like a brick wall. You need to stick with it and give your team time to gel, and your tactic time to work. 2. The next few months usually go well, but eventually you'll hit a drop in form - sometimes quite a severe drop. You have to figure out why - AI playing more cautiously, players over-confident, injuries to important players... whatever the reason, you have to either figure it out or ride it out. 3. You have to manage expectations. Don't expect the moon and stars first season. Unlike me. 4. If you get promoted, you really have to manage your expectations. Relegation is likely; anything else is a brilliant success. 5. Go to 1.
  4. Good luck with that I've only been to Lisbon once, and only for an evening on a business trip years ago. Keep meaning to go back...
  5. He's doing well - solid performer, average rating of 7.2 after 5 starts with 2 assists so far (and that includes the games against City, Liverpool and Spurs). Value is up to £18.25m and still only 19.
  6. Derby: season 2, November As mentioned above, it was a tough start to life in the PL. We were worth at least a point in our opening game against Leicester, taking a 2-1 lead into the halftime break but a second-half collapse cost us all the points. Newcastle away was a tough gig but only a Keogh own goal cost us, and Arsenal away never looked like a win. With a Carabao Cup win against Swansea, and a convincing victory against Huddersfield, we might have built some momentum, but the visit of Man City put paid to that. Worse than the loss was the manner of our capitulation - we were terrible in every department. The fixture computer was equally unkind later in the month as magnificent wins away at Palace and Bournemouth were followed by a tough run of games against Big Six opponents. We did well to secure the draw against Liverpool, but never looked like getting anything from the Man Utd fixture at Old Trafford. But a brilliant home win against Spurs (managed by Pep Guardiola) set us up to gain 4 points from the next 6, concluding with another fantastic result as Chelsea came to Pride Park. Our victory against Reading in the Carabao Cup brought little reward as we face Man Utd at Old Trafford in the quarter-final. After those results, we sit 12th in the table - above expectation and on target to hit the magical 40pts total for the season that should see us avoid relegation. I'm quietly confident we can do better than that and achieve a low-mid table finish, since we have taken 7pts from the Big Six and have a number of winnable games before the halfway mark. Marriott leads the scoring charts, although Isak has also played very well for little reward. He is one of 7 players who have 2 goals apiece. Generally, I'm happy with performances throughout the squad, but a couple of players are worthy of specific praise. First, Calum Macdonald at LB. Although ranked the lowest of 3 LBs in terms of ability and potential, he's keeping 'better' players out of the first team with a rating of better than 7 in 7 appearances. Second, Joe Aribo. Despite the lukewarm recommendations from several managers, he has an average rating of 7.3 and 2 assists in 7 starts. Three months into the season and I'd have to say I'm very happy!
  7. @Dong21 Sterling work with both Charlton and England. Hope you enjoy your Man Utd save as much as I'm enjoying mine. @Jogo Bonito Looking forward to your return to south London from sunnier climes. I've endured a tough start to our first PL season with Derby, with more losses than wins but that seems to be the way of it until players get the measure of the competition. Just managed to secure a 1-1 draw at home against Liverpool, which might be a good omen if not for the fact that our next games are Man Utd (A) and Spurs (H). We already lost to Arsenal and Man City, so that just leaves Chelsea of the Big 6 to play before Christmas so hopefully we'll pick up a few more points in the next month or two. Aribo has played a couple of games and done surprisingly well. I'll try to post an update tomorrow.
  8. Good news! Looking forward to the update. I've managed to make no progress in the last 48 hours, but should get a decent session in tomorrow.
  9. @Jamesbfc1887 As long he fits within your strict wage budget I don't see a problem
  10. Derby: season 2, transfers Transfer window is now closed, and we're about to kick-off our season with a home game against Leicester, followed by two away games at Arsenal and Newcastle. Could be worse, but still a daunting start to life in the Premiership. I'm confident we've managed to strengthen the first team, and the squad... the question will be whether we've strengthened enough. Everyone at the club is geared up for a relegation battle although the media think we can survive (just!) with a predicted finish of 17th. Going in to the window I had a lengthy list of players I wanted to move on, many of them returning from loan spells but with a year remaining on contracts. There were also two players on the fringes of last season's first-team squad in Craig Forsyth and Duane Holmes. The former missed the entire season through injury and at 30, I thought, his time was up. Holmes was a new signing but didn't show much at Championship level and seemed entirely unsuited to life in the top flight. Those two managed to find new teams, although at nowhere near value. Ambrose and Roos left on end-of-contract free moves... and that was about it for my Weakest Link list. Chris Martin and Mason Bennett attracted no transfer interest and the best I could do was send them out on loan for small wage contributions. Which means that George Thorne, George Evans and Ikechi Anya are still languishing in the U23s, costing us a combined £68k a week. Anya is particularly galling - his £33k a week makes him our third-highest paid player after Lawrence and Marriott. If I can't move them on loan in the next month I'll have to see whether they can be persuaded to accept mutual termination of contract. With 5 loan signings in the first team last season, and a couple more moving on, I had a number of holes to fill. With only 2 domestic loan spots available, I decided to renew Mason Mount and Harry Wilson for another year, and for a fraction of their wages. N'Doram was also renewed as an overseas loan and completely free. With Roos departing and Carson ageing, GK looked like a prime spot for an upgrade. First choice would have been Man Utd's Dean Henderson, but United weren't interested. Second choice was Koln's Timo Horn, but at £15m or so, he looked a bit expensive. All year, in various saves, my scouts highlight Sondre Rossbach at Odd in Norway as a really good prospect and available for less than £1m (despite interest from Spurs). So he was signed and is immediately valued at £5.5. Midfield was the area in greatest need of reinforcement. In season 1 we relied on the loan signings of N'Doram, Mount, Amos and King, and moved on Huddlestone and Johnson, so after renewing N'Doram and Mount we were still short of bodies. The signing of Sandro Tonali was a bit of a luxury, but I see him as a key foundation for the future of the team and his value is only going to rise. So although £12.5m was more than I wanted to spend on a single player, I decided he was worth it. At the other end of the scale, I had wanted to let Bryson leave at the end of his contract but after reevaluating his attributed and coaching reports I decided he was reasonable as backup so he accepted a new contract. With money tight, Joe Aribo was signed on a free as backup to Mount. However, I didn't view either Bryson or Aribo as potential first-choice CMs, so I started looking for another option. Filtering my scout reports for players who could play both mezzala and AP, I spotted young Swede Mattias Svanberg at Bologna. Aged just 20, he looks pretty good now and has the potential to get a lot better, and I think he's a solid investment at £5m. Up front I had Marriott, and AML Waghorn who's pretty good in the striker role for backup, but that looked a bit lightweight to me. So when I spotted another young Swede, Alexander Isak, available for loan from Dortmund I made a swift move and he joins us for less than £7k a week contribution. Finally, we needed reinforcement in central defence. Curtis Davis was allowed to leave for the US in April, and Ambrose in June, leaving us with only Keogh and Pinnock. My top target was Preston's Ben Davies, and a deal was agreed. Unfortunately, he'd just signed a new contract and wouldn't contemplate the move. Bednarek at relegated Southampton looked a prospect and affordable - until the club demanded £30m. Several other possibilities came to nothing and I was starting to get a bit desperate when my scouts turned up what looks like another gem, and another player who was not on my radar: Wigan's Cedric Kipre. Big and strong, with decent technical attributes, he needs to develop better composure and decision-making but generally looks a good prospect. At 22 he has plenty of time to develop. My strongest first team (and backups) looks like this: That's the tactic that got us promoted, but we'll rarely play that positively in the PL. I have a counter-attacking version that I hope will get us results for as long as teams consider us relegation fodder.
  11. Good to know, thanks. I detect a note of criticism in there, but I can't think of a crushing response
  12. Yeah, wasn't sure he was good enough. Role and duty would be OK as he's a natural as a mezzala and backup to Mount in that role is what I have in mind. Something to think about, but thanks for the input
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