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git2thachoppa

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About git2thachoppa

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    MU, B&HA, Iran, England

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    MU/England - FM 2007 (see my story thread)

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  1. I don't think the teams even played defensive (other than Colombia, ironically the only team to beat us). I feared in the very first post that we had no goalscorers, then the top English goalscorer this season got injured. It's no surprise we scored no goals! Still, I do have the best win percentage of any England manager. (Assuming none of the in-game ones beat me.)
  2. When you wonder when the awards are going to be so you scroll the forum, then find this thread, then you're gonna say "how come you don't tag or notify people so they know it's happening?", then you realise they're tagging winners, which means you already know you haven't won anything.
  3. England at the England 2030 World Cup England expects. ======================================================================= ======================================================================= v Italy @ Villa Park, Birmingham - 8/6/30 Italy haven't escaped the group stage of their last 2 tournaments, only scoring once. England haven't won in the last 5 meetings. We'll be going up against Man Utd's young centre-back breakout star Rabatti, who was the best player in the Premier League this season after making his debut. Team News I thought about using my Man Utd tactics, but we've beaten France 3 - 0, Iran 4 - 1 and USA 2 - 1 (with a B team) with 5-2-1-2. So if it ain't broke, I won't fix it. There are a few players with poor morale, but I'm not worrying about that. ------ ST ---- ST------ --------- AM --------- ----- CM ---DM ----- WBL ------------ WBR ---CB -- CB -- CB --- --------- GK ---------- GK: Duxbury CB: James CB: Friar CB: Huckle WBR: Melvin WBL: Williamson DM: Anderson CM: Doyle AM: Ryder ST: Henry ST: Stott (c) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (Ranked 3rd) England 1 - 0 Italy (Ranked 12th) Roscioli own goal (35) It was a crazy winner - a headed clearance outside the area went toward (??) their goal and soared into the net. We had several chances to score more while our defence did well to keep a clean sheet. A win's a win, especially in the 1st game against the 2nd seed. Ratings GK: Duxbury - 8 (MOTM) - Confidently collected balls and won every battle. CB: James - 8 CB: Friar - 7 CB: Huckle - 7 WBR: Melvin - 7 - Chased players endlessly. WBL: Williamson - 7 DM: Anderson - 7 CM: Doyle - 7 Sub (76): Jones - 6 AM: Ryder - 7 ST: Henry - 7 Sub (45): Palmer - 7 ST: Stott (c) - 7 - Was in the aerial duel that caused the own goal. Sub (64): Taylor - 7 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= v Iraq @ Stamford Bridge, London - 13/6/30 Iraq are one of Asia's better teams, after winning the Asian Cup in 2023 and reaching the semis 4 years later. They lost to Colombia 3 - 1, after taking the lead in just 24 seconds. Team News ------ ST ---- ST------ --------- AM --------- ----- CM ---DM ----- WBL ------------ WBR ---CB -- CB -- CB --- --------- GK ---------- GK: Duxbury CB: James CB: Friar CB: Huckle (c) WBR: Melvin WBL: Casey* DM: Anderson CM: Doyle AM: Austin* ST: Lea* ST: Taylor* *Change Several changes are made due to players having low condition despite a 5-day rest. Friar and Doyle remain despite their fatigue. I pick Man Utd's Casey over Hill to replace Williamson. Williamson's tackling was poor. Against possibly a defensive side, Casey is a better dribbler than Hill. Plus, if I change to my Man Utd 4-1-3-2 / 4-3-1-2, I already know he can play in the 3. Austin replaces Ryder due to low condition. Lea and Taylor come in as the best dribblers to replace Henry and Stott (though Henry's our best dribbler overall). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (3rd) England 0 - 0 Iraq (59th) Iraq have a goal seemingly wrongly ruled out for offside. We have 10 shots but no goals - we need a goalscorer. Consistent young defensive midfielder Anderson was injured and will be out for 2 weeks. Ratings GK: Duxbury - 6 - Iraq had 5 shots on target, but it's another clean sheet. Beaten for the 'offside' goal though. CB: James - 7 CB: Friar - 7 CB: Huckle (c) - 7 WBR: Melvin - 7 WBL: Casey - 7 DM: Anderson - 7 - Injured Sub (59): Jones - 7 CM: Doyle - 7 Sub (ST, 70): Henry - 6 AM: Austin - 7 ST: Lea - 7 ST: Taylor - 7 Sub (70): Stott - 6 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= v Colombia @ Wembley, London - 18/6/30 Italy beat Colombia, so a win or draw against Colombia sees us through. If we lose, we'd only possibly qualify if Iraq beat Italy and don't place above us on goal difference. Former international and Galatasaray goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón has been in charge of his country for 12 years. They missed the last World Cup and haven't got out the group stage since 2014. So far they've beaten Iraq 3 - 1 but lost to Italy 2 - 0. They need to better Italy's result against Iraq. Team News I said if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Well, we have 4 points, but fluked a win over Italy and probably should've lost 1 - 0 to Iraq. We've kept 2 clean sheets, which would see us through this time, but both our opponents had chances. So it's time for a change, otherwise I'll always be wondering "what if?" We're changing from the 3-5-2 to the Man Utd 4-1-3-2. This will hopefully make us a bit more defensively stable, especially as we just need a draw. Our strikers have had plenty chances, that's not the problem, it's just the personnel. So the other thing this tactical change will do will bring in the midfielders to have chances too. Maybe they'll score instead. ------- ST --- ST------- -- CM -- CM -- CM -- ---------- DM ---------- DL -- CB -- CB -- DR ---------- GK ---------- GK: Duxbury DR: Melvin CB: James CB: Friar LB: Huckle (c) DM: Jones* CM: Boardman* CM: Lea CM: Casey ST: Palmer* ST: Stott* *Change We don't have any natural right-backs, but wing-back Melvin shouldn't have a problem. If he does, I can play a centre-back there instead. DM was to be Anderson's perfect role, but he's injured now, so CM Jones plays there out of position. Boardman comes in as a dribbler, finisher, crosser, tackler and passer. Striker Lea moves to his other position. He is a very pacey dribbler. Casey moves to his familiar Man Utd position on the left of a midfield 3. Stott had a hand in our only goal against France while Palmer, though not a dribbler, beat his man 5 times and had chances, plus he's physically better. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (3rd) England 0 - 1 Colombia (36th) Macías (pen 49) Jones red card (81) England do what England do. With Colombia sitting back, we played more a 4-3-3 and 2-2-3-1-2 (2 wing-backs and an AMC). A few chances came our way, then centre-back James stuck out a leg and brought down a Colombian to allow them to take the lead through a "controversial" penalty. Despite Colombia sitting back, they had a lot of possession and no big England chance came for the rest of the game. If anything, 2 - 0 seemed more likely than 1 - 1. Then Jones, only playing due to Anderson's injury, lost his head. Italy beat Iraq easily, so it's England's first failure to get out of the group stage since 2014. Ratings GK: Duxbury - 7 - Stopped it being 2 - 0 DR: Melvin - 6 - Slightly more spritely than the rest CB: James - 6 - Had he not cost England, it would've been an 8/10 performance CB: Friar - 7 - One of only 2 players who can hold his head up high with an all-action performance of tackles, headers and interceptions DL: Huckle - 6 CM: Boardman - 6 Sub (45): Doyle - 6 CM: Jones - 5 - A decent showing before a stupid red card CM: Casey - 6 ST: Lea - 7 (6) - More like a 6 Sub (77): Henry - 6 ST: Palmer - 6 ST: Stott (c) - 6 - A yellow after 5 fouls meant I couldn't risk keeping him on Sub (AMC, 61): Ryder - 7 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= Aftermath and Ratings In the post-match interview, I'm in the unique position of being a temporary manager anyway, so I'm not diplomatic in my final day of the job. I had feared there weren't goals in the team, as the Confederations Cup before me had showed. The players scored in friendlies, so really we just saw their ability to always choke on the big stage. "I tried my best, but there's nothing you can do when you have a mentality to always give away a penalty in the final game". I point out that England had no chance of winning anyway because no one could score, so does it really matter? Over the next day, James, the fouler, is made a scapegoat, as does Jones who got a late red card for a two-footed tackle to make a difficult job impossible. In reality, all but one or two players in the squad that played are ripe for criticism. I avoid it, as the question is more 'how can we win anything if even a manager who overcame Newcastle to win the Premier League doesn't improve things?' and 'why did the players play well in friendlies but choke again at the finals?' Chris Waddle rants about the need for an overhaul at the FA and how bad the infrastructure is. "We should be lookin' at what Scotland are doin'!" I later make comments that I was right to reject the England job years ago, as I feared this 'choking' culture was waiting. Asked how I feel now, I reply "relief that I only took it short-term". Back to the more upbeat and successful surrounds of Manchester United, 2030 Premier League winners and 2028 European and World champions... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My Squad Ratings Goalkeepers 1. Duxbury - 8 13. Smith - N/A 20. Butler - N/A The only goals Duxbury conceded was the penalty and the controversial Iraq goal ruled out. Without him, we would've conceded more. He had a good tournament. Centre-Backs 14. Friar - 8 3. Huckle (DR/L/C) - 7 4. James - 5 5. Moran - N/A 23. Uberschar - N/A I feared Friar's club mistakes would appear for England, but he was near flawless and was the only defender with a prideful performance in the final game. Huckle did fine, but missed a lot of tackles against Colombia. No one who directly costs a team the entire tournament can get more than a 5. Without the mistake, James was an 8. Right-Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 16. Melvin (WB/M/AMR) - 7 6. Boardman (M/AMR) - 5 Melvin's stellar performance against Italy was followed by quiet ones, but he was one of the better players against Colombia. Boardman only played the final game, out of position, but was lifeless. Left-Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 11. Casey (ML/AML) - 7 7. Williamson (WB/M/AML) - 6 12. Hill (ML/AML) - N/A Casey played out of position at left wing-back and then left-central midfield, but still did a job. No key passes and only 1 shot though. Williamson only played against Italy. Defensively rubbish but made a contribution in attack. Central Midfielders 17. Doyle (ML/C) - 7 2. Anderson (DC, DM/MC) - 6 15. Jones - 5 Doyle did well against Italy, a bit missing against Iraq, and failed to make an impact as a half-time sub in the final game. Anderson quietly did his defensive job. Unfortunately injured for the 3rd game. Jones came off the bench twice and did fine, and his start against Colombia was good... then he went in 2-footed with the country needing a goal. Idiot. Attacking Central Midfielders 8. Austin (MC, AMC) - 7 18. Ryder (MC, AMC) - 7 Austin played fine against Iraq. Ryder played better against Italy, but didn't make an impact when we needed a goal against Colombia. Strikers 9. Stott - 6 10. Henry - 3 19. Lea - 5 21. Palmer - 5 22. Taylor - 6 Stott forced the Italy own goal, but that's all he really did. Taylor made 2 impactful sub appearances, except he didn't score. Lea did ok, but didn't score. Palmer scared Italy when he came on, but was quiet against Colombia Henry's contribution in 1 start and 2 sub appearances was a few passes and a couple of runs. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It's not coming home, and it never will with this toxic mentality. As I leave, the favourite to replace me is League Two Doncaster's manager. Other contenders are the managers of League One Reading and SPL's Livingston. Now stop crying your heart out, England.
  4. England at the England 2030 World Cup England expects. ======================================================================= ======================================================================= v Italy @ Villa Park, Birmingham - 8/6/30 Italy haven't escaped the group stage of their last 2 tournaments, only scoring once. England haven't won in the last 5 meetings. We'll be going up against Man Utd's young centre-back breakout star Rabatti, who was the best player in the Premier League this season after making his debut. Team News I thought about using my Man Utd tactics, but we've beaten France 3 - 0, Iran 4 - 1 and USA 2 - 1 (with a B team) with 5-2-1-2. So if it ain't broke, I won't fix it. There are a few players with poor morale, but I'm not worrying about that. ------ ST ---- ST------ --------- AM --------- ----- CM ---DM ----- WBL ------------ WBR ---CB -- CB -- CB --- --------- GK ---------- GK: Duxbury CB: James CB: Friar CB: Huckle WBR: Melvin WBL: Williamson DM: Anderson CM: Doyle AM: Ryder ST: Henry ST: Stott (c) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (Ranked 3rd) England 1 - 0 Italy (Ranked 12th) Roscioli own goal (35) It was a crazy winner - a headed clearance outside the area went toward (??) their goal and soared into the net. We had several chances to score more while our defence did well to keep a clean sheet. A win's a win, especially in the 1st game against the 2nd seed. Ratings GK: Duxbury - 8 (MOTM) - Confidently collected balls and won every battle. CB: James - 8 CB: Friar - 7 CB: Huckle - 7 WBR: Melvin - 7 - Chased players endlessly. WBL: Williamson - 7 DM: Anderson - 7 CM: Doyle - 7 Sub (76): Jones - 6 AM: Ryder - 7 ST: Henry - 7 Sub (45): Palmer - 7 ST: Stott (c) - 7 - Was in the aerial duel that caused the own goal. Sub (64): Taylor - 7 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= v Iraq @ Stamford Bridge, London - 13/6/30 Iraq are one of Asia's better teams, after winning the Asian Cup in 2023 and reaching the semis 4 years later. They lost to Colombia 3 - 1, after taking the lead in just 24 seconds. Team News ------ ST ---- ST------ --------- AM --------- ----- CM ---DM ----- WBL ------------ WBR ---CB -- CB -- CB --- --------- GK ---------- GK: Duxbury CB: James CB: Friar CB: Huckle (c) WBR: Melvin WBL: Casey* DM: Anderson CM: Doyle AM: Austin* ST: Lea* ST: Taylor* *Change Several changes are made due to players having low condition despite a 5-day rest. Friar and Doyle remain despite their fatigue. I pick Man Utd's Casey over Hill to replace Williamson. Williamson's tackling was poor. Against possibly a defensive side, Casey is a better dribbler than Hill. Plus, if I change to my Man Utd 4-1-3-2 / 4-3-1-2, I already know he can play in the 3. Austin replaces Ryder due to low condition. Lea and Taylor come in as the best dribblers to replace Henry and Stott (though Henry's our best dribbler overall). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (3rd) England 0 - 0 Iraq (59th) Iraq have a goal seemingly wrongly ruled out for offside. We have 10 shots but no goals - we need a goalscorer. Consistent young defensive midfielder Anderson was injured and will be out for 2 weeks. Ratings GK: Duxbury - 6 - Iraq had 5 shots on target, but it's another clean sheet. Beaten for the 'offside' goal though. CB: James - 7 CB: Friar - 7 CB: Huckle (c) - 7 WBR: Melvin - 7 WBL: Casey - 7 DM: Anderson - 7 - Injured Sub (59): Jones - 7 CM: Doyle - 7 Sub (ST, 70): Henry - 6 AM: Austin - 7 ST: Lea - 7 ST: Taylor - 7 Sub (70): Stott - 6 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= v Colombia @ Wembley, London - 18/6/30 Italy beat Colombia, so a win or draw against Colombia sees us through. If we lose, we'd only possibly qualify if Iraq beat Italy and don't place above us on goal difference. Former international and Galatasaray goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón has been in charge of his country for 12 years. They missed the last World Cup and haven't got out the group stage since 2014. So far they've beaten Iraq 3 - 1 but lost to Italy 2 - 0. They need to better Italy's result against Iraq. Team News I said if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Well, we have 4 points, but fluked a win over Italy and probably should've lost 1 - 0 to Iraq. We've kept 2 clean sheets, which would see us through this time, but both our opponents had chances. So it's time for a change, otherwise I'll always be wondering "what if?" We're changing from the 3-5-2 to the Man Utd 4-1-3-2. This will hopefully make us a bit more defensively stable, especially as we just need a draw. Our strikers have had plenty chances, that's not the problem, it's just the personnel. So the other thing this tactical change will do will bring in the midfielders to have chances too. Maybe they'll score instead. ------- ST --- ST------- -- CM -- CM -- CM -- ---------- DM ---------- DL -- CB -- CB -- DR ---------- GK ---------- GK: Duxbury DR: Melvin CB: James CB: Friar LB: Huckle (c) DM: Jones* CM: Boardman* CM: Lea CM: Casey ST: Palmer* ST: Stott* *Change We don't have any natural right-backs, but wing-back Melvin shouldn't have a problem. If he does, I can play a centre-back there instead. DM was to be Anderson's perfect role, but he's injured now, so CM Jones plays there out of position. Boardman comes in as a dribbler, finisher, crosser, tackler and passer. Striker Lea moves to his other position. He is a very pacey dribbler. Casey moves to his familiar Man Utd position on the left of a midfield 3. Stott had a hand in our only goal against France while Palmer, though not a dribbler, beat his man 5 times and had chances, plus he's physically better. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (3rd) England 0 - 1 Colombia (36th) Macías (pen 49) Jones red card (81) England do what England do. With Colombia sitting back, we played more a 4-3-3 and 2-2-3-1-2 (2 wing-backs and an AMC). A few chances came our way, then centre-back James stuck out a leg and brought down a Colombian to allow them to take the lead through a "controversial" penalty. Despite Colombia sitting back, they had a lot of possession and no big England chance came for the rest of the game. If anything, 2 - 0 seemed more likely than 1 - 1. Then Jones, only playing due to Anderson's injury, lost his head. Italy beat Iraq easily, so it's England's first failure to get out of the group stage since 2014. Ratings GK: Duxbury - 7 - Stopped it being 2 - 0 DR: Melvin - 6 - Slightly more spritely than the rest CB: James - 6 - Had he not cost England, it would've been an 8/10 performance CB: Friar - 7 - One of only 2 players who can hold his head up high with an all-action performance of tackles, headers and interceptions DL: Huckle - 6 CM: Boardman - 6 Sub (45): Doyle - 6 CM: Jones - 5 - A decent showing before a stupid red card CM: Casey - 6 ST: Lea - 7 (6) - More like a 6 Sub (77): Henry - 6 ST: Palmer - 6 ST: Stott (c) - 6 - A yellow after 5 fouls meant I couldn't risk keeping him on Sub (AMC, 61): Ryder - 7 ======================================================================= ======================================================================= Aftermath and Ratings In the post-match interview, I'm in the unique position of being a temporary manager anyway, so I'm not diplomatic in my final day of the job. I had feared there weren't goals in the team, as the Confederations Cup before me had showed. The players scored in friendlies, so really we just saw their ability to always choke on the big stage. "I tried my best, but there's nothing you can do when you have a mentality to always give away a penalty in the final game". I point out that England had no chance of winning anyway because no one could score, so does it really matter? Over the next day, James, the fouler, is made a scapegoat, as does Jones who got a late red card for a two-footed tackle to make a difficult job impossible. In reality, all but one or two players in the squad that played are ripe for criticism. I avoid it, as the question is more 'how can we win anything if even a manager who overcame Newcastle to win the Premier League doesn't improve things?' and 'why did the players play well in friendlies but choke again at the finals?' Chris Waddle rants about the need for an overhaul at the FA and how bad the infrastructure is. "We should be lookin' at what Scotland are doin'!" I later make comments that I was right to reject the England job years ago, as I feared this 'choking' culture was waiting. Asked how I feel now, I reply "relief that I only took it short-term". Back to the more upbeat and successful surrounds of Manchester United, 2030 Premier League winners and 2028 European and World champions... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My Squad Ratings Goalkeepers 1. Duxbury - 8 13. Smith - N/A 20. Butler - N/A The only goals Duxbury conceded was the penalty and the controversial Iraq goal ruled out. Without him, we would've conceded more. He had a good tournament. Centre-Backs 14. Friar - 8 3. Huckle (DR/L/C) - 7 4. James - 5 5. Moran - N/A 23. Uberschar - N/A I feared Friar's club mistakes would appear for England, but he was near flawless and was the only defender with a prideful performance in the final game. Huckle did fine, but missed a lot of tackles against Colombia. No one who directly costs a team the entire tournament can get more than a 5. Without the mistake, James was an 8. Right-Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 16. Melvin (WB/M/AMR) - 7 6. Boardman (M/AMR) - 5 Melvin's stellar performance against Italy was followed by quiet ones, but he was one of the better players against Colombia. Boardman only played the final game, out of position, but was lifeless. Left-Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 11. Casey (ML/AML) - 7 7. Williamson (WB/M/AML) - 6 12. Hill (ML/AML) - N/A Casey played out of position at left wing-back and then left-central midfield, but still did a job. No key passes and only 1 shot though. Williamson only played against Italy. Defensively rubbish but made a contribution in attack. Central Midfielders 17. Doyle (ML/C) - 7 2. Anderson (DC, DM/MC) - 6 15. Jones - 5 Doyle did well against Italy, a bit missing against Iraq, and failed to make an impact as a half-time sub in the final game. Anderson quietly did his defensive job. Unfortunately injured for the 3rd game. Jones came off the bench twice and did fine, and his start against Colombia was good... then he went in 2-footed with the country needing a goal. Idiot. Attacking Central Midfielders 8. Austin (MC, AMC) - 7 18. Ryder (MC, AMC) - 7 Austin played fine against Iraq. Ryder played better against Italy, but didn't make an impact when we needed a goal against Colombia. Strikers 9. Stott - 6 10. Henry - 3 19. Lea - 5 21. Palmer - 5 22. Taylor - 6 Stott forced the Italy own goal, but that's all he really did. Taylor made 2 impactful sub appearances, except he didn't score. Lea did ok, but didn't score. Palmer scared Italy when he came on, but was quiet against Colombia Henry's contribution in 1 start and 2 sub appearances was a few passes and a couple of runs. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It's not coming home, and it never will with this toxic mentality. As I leave, the favourite to replace me is League Two Doncaster's manager. Other contenders are the managers of League One Reading and SPL's Livingston.
  5. England's World Cup Draw and Final Squad Draw I curse as our name is drawn (top seeds are drawn last). No fixing it for the hosts this time - we're in one of the harder groups, which is beside current Euro and back-to-back World champions and rivals Scotland too. Group B opponents: Italy - A good pedigree, although haven't got out of the group stage of a tournament since Euro 2024, scoring 1 goal in 6 games but only conceding 3. Hopefully get a draw. Iraq - First World Cup since 2014, where they got 2 draws. Won the 2023 Asian Cup and reached the semis 4 years later. Should be beaten, especially as we beat Iran (who finished above them) 4-1. Colombia - Exited the group stage of 2018 and 2022, didn't even qualify for 2026. Expect a win, but could be a draw. ============================================================ ============================================================ My 2030 World Cup Squad Some big news and surprises. Goalkeepers 1. Duxbury - 28, Blackburn, 3 caps 13. Smith - 23, Southampton, uncapped 20. Butler - 26, Norwich, 4 caps Duxbury's average rating of 7.03 means he confirms his place as England's #1. I sold the disappointing Butler in the summer, but he responded with a similar rating and just 1 mistake, so he's in. The #3 choice was a choice between experience or youth Both Hutchings, the 38-year-old former #1, and Smith had above-7.00 seasons. Centre-backs 3. Huckle (DR/L/C) - 29, Arsenal, 2 goals in 29 caps 4. James - 29, Newcastle, 31 caps 5. Moran - 32, Newcastle, 2 goals in 33 caps 14. Friar - 25, Man Utd, 6 caps 23. Uberschar - 22, Man Utd, 1 cap + Anderson Friar (7.15) and James (7.30) were obvious picks. Huckle had a slightly under-par season (6.93), but is an England regular who got two 8s for me and provides full back cover too. Moran had a great season (7.17) and can hopefully continue his form if called on. Playing 3 at the back, a backup spot was left. Burley, who I sold in the winter, had a strong season with high interceptions. But once-wonderkid Uberschar also had a great season on loan at Rangers (7.47) and England debut, so he squeaked in. Right Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 6. Boardman (M/AMR) - 27, Newcastle, 4 goals in 12 caps 16. Melvin (WB/M/AMR) - 23, Arsenal, 1 goal in 2 caps + Huckle Long-time captain Morris (DR) is completely dropped! Melvin had a breakout season, getting 13 assists, and Morris' under-par form has cost him! Boardman had a poor season, but he can turn it on when putting on the England shirt. Hopefully he can return to his Euro 2028 form, when he scored in 3 of England's 4 games. Left Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 7. Williamson (WB/M/AML) - 29, Inter, 19 caps 11. Casey (ML/AML) - 24, Man Utd, 1 cap 12. Hill (ML/AML) - 26, Roma, 1 goal in 8 caps + Doyle, Huckle Ok, there's 3 players in this 1 position, but Hill is suspended for 1 game and Casey is a player I know and trust. Plus, I know he can play in my Man Utd-style midfield central 3, if I need to change tactics. Hill had a 7.17 season. Williamson only made 5 starts and 6 sub appearances, but earned a reputation as a super sub, often needing only 10 minutes to score or assist. Central Midfielders 2. Anderson (DC, DM/MC) - 23, Newcastle, 2 caps 15. Jones - 27, Coventry, 1 cap 17. Doyle (ML/C) - 28, Lazio, 1 goal in 20 caps + Austin, Lea, Ryder Anderson was a surprise callup for my first friendlies, but gave two '8' performances and an assist. He only played a handful of games this season, but the fact he's completing a move to Man Utd in the summer says how much I rate him. After Anderson, the quality and depth isn't great. Doyle came off the bench as much as he started for Lazio, but has always performed very highly for England and impressed in my first friendly. Jones got 6.96 this season, but made key passes in seemingly every single game. Attacking Central Midfielders 8. Austin (MC, AMC) - 29, Preston, 1 goal in 3 caps 18. Ryder (MC, AMC) - 28, Blackburn, 1 goal in 1 cap England stalwart Stokes, who underperformed in friendlies, is injured for a few weeks, so the choice whether to drop him is made for me. Ryder scored a long range curler on his England debut and had an OK season with 5 assists. Austin had a slightly better season, but fewer assists. Strikers 9. Stott - 30, West Ham, 11 goals in 19 caps 10. Henry - 28, Blackburn, 1 goal in 6 caps 19. Lea - 23, Norwich, 2 caps 21. Palmer - 27, Preston, 2 caps 22. Taylor - 27, Middlesbrough, 2 caps Goalscoring was a real worry, especially now Neal, the top English goalscorer in the league with 11 goals (and 9 assists), is injured. Another England regular, Holt, is dropped for new faces. Stott puts himself about, despite 13s in Strength and Pace and 12 Jumping. But he only scored 3 goals in 24(1) league appearances. Henry got double figures for the 2nd season in a row. Palmer missed a couple of chances and kept getting caught offside when I tried him out. He scored 11 goals his season, though. Taylor broke his foot within minutes of making his England debut, so I never got to see him. But he's very strong in the air, so provides an alternative plan. He got 4 goals in 14(9) games. ============================================================ ============================================================ As a precursor, Gary Neville's England U19s got 7 points in Euro 2030 qualification, but Scotland took the spot due to goal difference. It's the first time they've failed to qualify in 5 years. ============================================================ ============================================================
  6. England's World Cup Draw and Final Squad Draw I curse as our name is drawn (top seeds are drawn last). No fixing it for the hosts this time - we're in one of the harder groups, which is beside current Euro and back-to-back World champions and rivals Scotland too. Group B opponents: Italy - A good pedigree, although haven't got out of the group stage of a tournament since Euro 2024, scoring 1 goal in 6 games but only conceding 3. Hopefully get a draw. Iraq - First World Cup since 2014, where they got 2 draws. Won the 2023 Asian Cup and reached the semis 4 years later. Should be beaten, especially as we beat Iran (who finished above them) 4-1. Colombia - Exited the group stage of 2018 and 2022, didn't even qualify for 2026. Expect a win, but could be a draw. ============================================================ ============================================================ My 2030 World Cup Squad Some big news and surprises. Goalkeepers 1. Duxbury - 28, Blackburn, 3 caps 13. Smith - 23, Southampton, uncapped 20. Butler - 26, Norwich, 4 caps Duxbury's average rating of 7.03 means he confirms his place as England's #1. I sold the disappointing Butler in the summer, but he responded with a similar rating and just 1 mistake, so he's in. The #3 choice was a choice between experience or youth Both Hutchings, the 38-year-old former #1, and Smith had above-7.00 seasons. Centre-backs 3. Huckle (DR/L/C) - 29, Arsenal, 2 goals in 29 caps 4. James - 29, Newcastle, 31 caps 5. Moran - 32, Newcastle, 2 goals in 33 caps 14. Friar - 25, Man Utd, 6 caps 23. Uberschar - 22, Man Utd, 1 cap + Anderson Friar (7.15) and James (7.30) were obvious picks. Huckle had a slightly under-par season (6.93), but is an England regular who got two 8s for me and provides full back cover too. Moran had a great season (7.17) and can hopefully continue his form if called on. Playing 3 at the back, a backup spot was left. Burley, who I sold in the winter, had a strong season with high interceptions. But once-wonderkid Uberschar also had a great season on loan at Rangers (7.47) and England debut, so he squeaked in. Right Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 6. Boardman (M/AMR) - 27, Newcastle, 4 goals in 12 caps 16. Melvin (WB/M/AMR) - 23, Arsenal, 1 goal in 2 caps + Huckle Long-time captain Morris (DR) is completely dropped! Melvin had a breakout season, getting 13 assists, and Morris' under-par form has cost him! Boardman had a poor season, but he can turn it on when putting on the England shirt. Hopefully he can return to his Euro 2028 form, when he scored in 3 of England's 4 games. Left Backs, Wing-Backs and Wingers 7. Williamson (WB/M/AML) - 29, Inter, 19 caps 11. Casey (ML/AML) - 24, Man Utd, 1 cap 12. Hill (ML/AML) - 26, Roma, 1 goal in 8 caps + Doyle, Huckle Ok, there's 3 players in this 1 position, but Hill is suspended for 1 game and Casey is a player I know and trust. Plus, I know he can play in my Man Utd-style midfield central 3, if I need to change tactics. Hill had a 7.17 season. Williamson only made 5 starts and 6 sub appearances, but earned a reputation as a super sub, often needing only 10 minutes to score or assist. Central Midfielders 2. Anderson (DC, DM/MC) - 23, Newcastle, 2 caps 15. Jones - 27, Coventry, 1 cap 17. Doyle (ML/C) - 28, Lazio, 1 goal in 20 caps + Austin, Lea, Ryder Anderson was a surprise callup for my first friendlies, but gave two '8' performances and an assist. He only played a handful of games this season, but the fact he's completing a move to Man Utd in the summer says how much I rate him. After Anderson, the quality and depth isn't great. Doyle came off the bench as much as he started for Lazio, but has always performed very highly for England and impressed in my first friendly. Jones got 6.96 this season, but made key passes in seemingly every single game. Attacking Central Midfielders 8. Austin (MC, AMC) - 29, Preston, 1 goal in 3 caps 18. Ryder (MC, AMC) - 28, Blackburn, 1 goal in 1 cap England stalwart Stokes, who underperformed in friendlies, is injured for a few weeks, so the choice whether to drop him is made for me. Ryder scored a long range curler on his England debut and had an OK season with 5 assists. Austin had a slightly better season, but fewer assists. Strikers 9. Stott - 30, West Ham, 11 goals in 19 caps 10. Henry - 28, Blackburn, 1 goal in 6 caps 19. Lea - 23, Norwich, 2 caps 21. Palmer - 27, Preston, 2 caps 22. Taylor - 27, Middlesbrough, 2 caps Goalscoring was a real worry, especially now Neal, the top English goalscorer in the league with 11 goals (and 9 assists), is injured. Another England regular, Holt, is dropped for new faces. Stott puts himself about, despite 13s in Strength and Pace and 12 Jumping. But he only scored 3 goals in 24(1) league appearances. Henry got double figures for the 2nd season in a row. Palmer missed a couple of chances and kept getting caught offside when I tried him out. He scored 11 goals his season, though. Taylor broke his foot within minutes of making his England debut, so I never got to see him. But he's very strong in the air, so provides an alternative plan. He got 4 goals in 14(9) games. ============================================================ ============================================================ As a precursor, Gary Neville's England U19s got 7 points in Euro 2030 qualification, but Scotland took the spot due to goal difference. It's the first time they've failed to qualify in 5 years. ============================================================ ============================================================
  7. But what's the demographics of the site? How many are British?
  8. So far, so not good. We may never see the 2034 Canadian World Cup.
  9. I tested it on some laptop and it worked straight away I think on there. It claimed the database was different and reverted to default, but I'm not doing a clean install, just upgrade, so shouldn't be a problem. I guess there's always virtual PC for old games, but once FM 07 dies I'm gonna build / buy a Windows 95/98 PC speficially just to play a management game from my childhood. It only works with certain 90s hardware, so even virtual PC fails to trick it.
  10. Now that the 2030 World Cup and season is over, I'm finally 'upgrading' from Windows 7 to 10. FM 07 should still work, but if it doesn't then it's ended perfectly with Newcastle finally overturned. Not looking forward to Windows 10. Time to strap myself in and hopefully come out the other side... I had no choice, PC. May God have mercy on my soul.
  11. I looked at Southgate's last England squad and it's not too bad. National teams play a lot, lot less in the game. Small non-Euro nations can only have 2 games every 4 years. Friendlies are rarer too so hosts (like England this time) will usually have no games for 2-3 years except the Confederations Cup. And back in FM 07 there's only a few friendly dates per year and none before a World Cup, so that's why I could only make 3 friendlies.
  12. Final Preparations for England 2030 My Second England Squad This time, I'm leaving out some players who have likely already made the squad, giving a chance to some players who have been in great form so far this season. A lot of new faces. Goalkeepers Butler - 25, Norwich, 4 caps Duxbury - 27, Blackburn, 2 caps Zabek - 29, West Ham, 2 caps It's the same 3 keepers. The only other English goalkeeper to performer better than bad is in the SPL, but injured. Butler is still returning from injury himself. Likely #1 Duxbury has performed well so far this season with a 7.14 average rating in 7 league games. Centre-Backs Ellis - 28, West Brom, 1 cap D. Hill (DR/C) - 22, West Brom, uncapped Rawlinson - 30, West Brom, uncapped Uberschar - 22, Rangers, uncapped Uberschar is actually a United sometimes-wonderkid out on loan, where he's been the best player in the SPL by far with an 8.25 average rating. England are blessed in this position and competition is top class just to get on the bench, even with three other call-ups getting injured. Right Wing-Backs and Wingers Davis (D/WB/M/AMR) - 29, Juventus, 4 goals in 17 caps Melvin (WB/M/AMR) - 22, Arsenal, 1 goal in 2 caps Morris (DR) - 31, Newcastle, 1 goal in 38 caps This is about who will be join Boardman (who had a great Euro 2028, takes every set piece and impressed in my first squad). Morris doesn't naturally play wing-back, but he's the captain and is good with the ball, so that could work. Otherwise, Melvin is the standout best of the rest, because he's just slightly above average at the moment. Scraping the barrel, Davis only gets picked due to being a natural wing-back. The only other options I see are a couple of ineffective wingers for West Ham and West Brom... and a 31-year-old Scot. Left Wing-Backs and Wingers Casey (ML/AML) - 23, Man Utd, 1 cap Cherry (AML) - 29, Norwich, 13 caps Stevens (M/AML, AMC) - 27, Coventry, 4 caps Wilson (D/WBL) - 26, Arsenal, 4 caps Similarly, this is just trying out alternatives to Williamson and Hill, world class left-flankers who have already impressed. The depth is good. Casey got an assist after just 22 minutes into his England debut. Cherry has got a 7.25 average rating in his first 8 games for his new club, though only 1 goal and no assists. Stevens is another with a strong start to the season on the left. Wilson got 2 assists at Euro 2028. Central Midfielders Anderson (DC, DM, MC) - 22, Newcastle, 2 caps Jones (MC) - 26, Coventry, 1 cap Kennedy (MC) - 25, Norwich, uncapped Lea (MC, ST) - 23, Rangers, 1 cap MacDonald (DM/MC, MR) - 25, Man City, uncapped Anderson and Jones are late call-ups to replace injured players. Anderson is very likely to make the World Cup, Jones also did well in my last squad. Attacking Central Midfielders Austin (MC, AMC) - 29, Preston, 2 caps Stevens (M/AML, AMC) - 27, Coventry, 4 caps Ryder (MC, AMC) - 27, Blackburn, uncapped Stokes failed to perform in this position, so hopefully someone will grab the opportunity. Strikers Henry - 27, Blackburn, 1 goal in 6 caps Holt (DC/ST) - 28, Bayern, 7 goals in 22 caps Neal - 25, Coventry, 1 goal in 3 caps Palmer - 26, Preston, 1 cap Stokes (MC, AMC, ST) - 29, Leicester, 6 goals in 39 caps No one has scored more than a couple of goals this season. This remains England's weakest-looking area. ========================================================== ========================================================== v USA @ Wembley Stadium, London - 6/10/29 America are going through a dark period after getting knocked out at the very first stage of World Cup qualifying by British Virgin Islands. Despite regular home advantage and only facing Central American sides (as well as Mali, Wales and Czech Republic), their only win in 4 whole years has come against Guadeloupe. England have won every meeting except 2: a Confederations Cup precursor in 1993 and the infamous loss in 1950. Tactics and Selection 5 players will make their debut, with a bench full of players set to be tried in their second positions. ---- 9 --- 8 ---- ------ 10 ------ ---- 7 --- 6 ---- 11 ---------- 3 -- 5 -- 4 -- 2 -- ------- 1 ------- 1 - Duxbury 2 - D. Hill 4 - Uberschar 5 - Rawlinson 3 - Morris 11 - Cherry 6 - MacDonald 7 - Kennedy 10 - Ryder 8 - Stokes 9 - Palmer Butler isn't fit and Zabek's form and morale has dropped, so Duxbury gets more experience today. Captain and stalwart Morris is pushed slightly out of position as right wing-back rather than full-back. It's an entirely uncapped back 3. If Stokes, now playing as striker, disappoints for the 3rd friendly in a row, he risks being a shock exclusion. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Ranked 2nd) England 2 - 1 USA (Ranked 131st) Ryder (27) Austin (64) - Cropper (90+3) USA sat back but still went behind to another England long-ranger. They attacked in the second half, but the lead doubled, though they got a stoppage time consolation. Ratings GK - Duxbury - 6 CB - D. Hill - 7 Sub - Ellis - 6 CB - Uberschar - 7 - Dominated in the air, winning all 10 headers. Sub - Holt - 6 CB - Rawlinson - 7 RWB - Morris - 6 - Had no real problem out of position at wing-back or centre-back, except being beaten for the goal. Sub - Davis - 7 LWB - Cherry - 7 - Decent, but fouled plenty due to his poor defensive ability. Too many others ahead of him. Sub - Wilson - 7 DM - Kennedy - 7 Sub - Lea - 7 CM - MacDonald - 7 - Given a free role but did little with it. Got fouled 5 times though. AM - Ryder - 7 - Scored a long-range curler and had a couple more shots. Sub - Austin - 7 - Scored the second, though it was a deflected pass. Gave a lot of effort. ST - Stokes - 7 - Another game with no goals. ST - Palmer - 6 - Kicking himself after missing a couple of great chances and getting caught offside 7 times! All 3 friendlies have been played. The next game will be the World Cup. Form and injuries will still decide several places, but I know most of my first team for the first game. As long as they stay in-form that is. Rather than play an AMC, I might use my Man Utd / Valenciennes tactic of a row of 3 MCs with the outside 2 going forward. There's no more friendlies to try this, though. Let's see what happens. Next is the England 2030 World Cup draw and England's World Cup squad. Rest assured, I won't be taking any crocked Man Utd players or random 17-year-olds!
  13. Final Preparations for England 2030 My Second England Squad This time, I'm leaving out some players who have likely already made the squad, giving a chance to some players who have been in great form so far this season. A lot of new faces. Goalkeepers Butler - 25, Norwich, 4 caps Duxbury - 27, Blackburn, 2 caps Zabek - 29, West Ham, 2 caps It's the same 3 keepers. The only other English goalkeeper to performer better than bad is in the SPL, but injured. Butler is still returning from injury himself. Likely #1 Duxbury has performed well so far this season with a 7.14 average rating in 7 league games. Centre-Backs Ellis - 28, West Brom, 1 cap D. Hill (DR/C) - 22, West Brom, uncapped Rawlinson - 30, West Brom, uncapped Uberschar - 22, Rangers, uncapped Uberschar is actually a United sometimes-wonderkid out on loan, where he's been the best player in the SPL by far with an 8.25 average rating. England are blessed in this position and competition is top class just to get on the bench, even with three other call-ups getting injured. Right Wing-Backs and Wingers Davis (D/WB/M/AMR) - 29, Juventus, 4 goals in 17 caps Melvin (WB/M/AMR) - 22, Arsenal, 1 goal in 2 caps Morris (DR) - 31, Newcastle, 1 goal in 38 caps This is about who will be join Boardman (who had a great Euro 2028, takes every set piece and impressed in my first squad). Morris doesn't naturally play wing-back, but he's the captain and is good with the ball, so that could work. Otherwise, Melvin is the standout best of the rest, because he's just slightly above average at the moment. Scraping the barrel, Davis only gets picked due to being a natural wing-back. The only other options I see are a couple of ineffective wingers for West Ham and West Brom... and a 31-year-old Scot. Left Wing-Backs and Wingers Casey (ML/AML) - 23, Man Utd, 1 cap Cherry (AML) - 29, Norwich, 13 caps Stevens (M/AML, AMC) - 27, Coventry, 4 caps Wilson (D/WBL) - 26, Arsenal, 4 caps Similarly, this is just trying out alternatives to Williamson and Hill, world class left-flankers who have already impressed. The depth is good. Casey got an assist after just 22 minutes into his England debut. Cherry has got a 7.25 average rating in his first 8 games for his new club, though only 1 goal and no assists. Stevens is another with a strong start to the season on the left. Wilson got 2 assists at Euro 2028. Central Midfielders Anderson (DC, DM, MC) - 22, Newcastle, 2 caps Jones (MC) - 26, Coventry, 1 cap Kennedy (MC) - 25, Norwich, uncapped Lea (MC, ST) - 23, Rangers, 1 cap MacDonald (DM/MC, MR) - 25, Man City, uncapped Anderson and Jones are late call-ups to replace injured players. Anderson is very likely to make the World Cup, Jones also did well in my last squad. Attacking Central Midfielders Austin (MC, AMC) - 29, Preston, 2 caps Stevens (M/AML, AMC) - 27, Coventry, 4 caps Ryder (MC, AMC) - 27, Blackburn, uncapped Stokes failed to perform in this position, so hopefully someone will grab the opportunity. Strikers Henry - 27, Blackburn, 1 goal in 6 caps Holt (DC/ST) - 28, Bayern, 7 goals in 22 caps Neal - 25, Coventry, 1 goal in 3 caps Palmer - 26, Preston, 1 cap Stokes (MC, AMC, ST) - 29, Leicester, 6 goals in 39 caps No one has scored more than a couple of goals this season. This remains England's weakest-looking area. ========================================================== ========================================================== v USA @ Wembley Stadium, London - 6/10/29 America are going through a dark period after getting knocked out at the very first stage of World Cup qualifying by British Virgin Islands. Despite regular home advantage and only facing Central American sides (as well as Mali, Wales and Czech Republic), their only win in 4 whole years has come against Guadeloupe. England have won every meeting except 2: a Confederations Cup precursor in 1993 and the infamous loss in 1950. Tactics and Selection 5 players will make their debut, with a bench full of players set to be tried in their second positions. ---- 9 --- 8 ---- ------ 10 ------ ---- 7 --- 6 ---- 11 ---------- 3 -- 5 -- 4 -- 2 -- ------- 1 ------- 1 - Duxbury 2 - D. Hill 4 - Uberschar 5 - Rawlinson 3 - Morris 11 - Cherry 6 - MacDonald 7 - Kennedy 10 - Ryder 8 - Stokes 9 - Palmer Butler isn't fit and Zabek's form and morale has dropped, so Duxbury gets more experience today. Captain and stalwart Morris is pushed slightly out of position as right wing-back rather than full-back. It's an entirely uncapped back 3. If Stokes, now playing as striker, disappoints for the 3rd friendly in a row, he risks being a shock exclusion. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Ranked 2nd) England 2 - 1 USA (Ranked 131st) Ryder (27) Austin (64) - Cropper (90+3) USA sat back but still went behind to another England long-ranger. They attacked in the second half, but the lead doubled, though they got a stoppage time consolation. Ratings GK - Duxbury - 6 CB - D. Hill - 7 Sub - Ellis - 6 CB - Uberschar - 7 - Dominated in the air, winning all 10 headers. Sub - Holt - 6 CB - Rawlinson - 7 RWB - Morris - 6 - Had no real problem out of position at wing-back or centre-back, except being beaten for the goal. Sub - Davis - 7 LWB - Cherry - 7 - Decent, but fouled plenty due to his poor defensive ability. Too many others ahead of him. Sub - Wilson - 7 DM - Kennedy - 7 Sub - Lea - 7 CM - MacDonald - 7 - Given a free role but did little with it. Got fouled 5 times though. AM - Ryder - 7 - Scored a long-range curler and had a couple more shots. Sub - Austin - 7 - Scored the second, though it was a deflected pass. Gave a lot of effort. ST - Stokes - 7 - Another game with no goals. ST - Palmer - 6 - Kicking himself after missing a couple of great chances and getting caught offside 7 times! All 3 friendlies have been played. The next game will be the World Cup. Form and injuries will still decide several places, but I know most of my first team for the first game. As long as they stay in-form that is. Rather than play an AMC, I might use my Man Utd / Valenciennes tactic of a row of 3 MCs with the outside 2 going forward. There's no more friendlies to try this, though. Let's see what happens. Next is the England 2030 World Cup draw and England's World Cup squad. Rest assured, I won't be taking any crocked Man Utd players or random 17-year-olds!
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