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4 "What we've got here is a failure to communicate"

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    Everton FC, USMNT

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    Ross County

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  1. 1 August 2020, Dingwall Luke sat down at his office desk, and glanced down at the team sheet. He then glanced at his assistant manager, and smiled. "Thanks for working with me Richard. It's great to have someone with the experience and knowledge you have of this club." Richard Brittain nodded. He had played for Ross County from 2008-2015, and had been coaching at the club in various roles since 2018. "No problem Luke, you seem to have a great plan for the club, and I appreciate you coming up here. I didn't go to the Highland Football Academy much in the past, but you did help develop players in this area. This should be fun, and I hope that everyone in the backroom team can push this club forward." Luke was learning more about the club in his first days as manager. Richard was a club icon, and it made sense to keep him on as an assistant manager, as he had professional experience at a level that Luke never did. The Highlands were a great place to build a home, and he appreciated that there was an increasing talent level coming through, thanks to investments made by both Highland clubs and the SFA. "So, what do you make of the current squad?" Richard cleared his throat, and pointed at the team sheet. "Well, I think that we do have a decent squad, but we need depth. We do have some good youth prospects, and I think that if we can give them some chances, then we could have something." Ross County Projected First Team Squad as of Now Goalkeepers: Ross Doohan: 22 years old, Scottish. On loan from Celtic, and is rated 3*/5*. Will be the first choice goalkeeper, and has lots of ratings in the 10 or above. Has 8 U21 caps for Scotland, and needs to prove himself at the Premiership level. Ross Laidlaw: 28 years old, Scottish. Rated as 2.5*/2.5*. Going to be the backup keeper, and isn't as good as Doohan. Has good reflexes, and can be a good backup, but probably is going to be that way as my plan is to invest into youth at the goalkeeper position with upgrades to the youth academy later on in this save. Right Back: Connor Randall: 24 years old, English. Signed on a free this summer, and is rated 3.5*/4.5*. Originally from Liverpool's academy, he has a lot of pace, and looks like a player coming into his prime. Someone who I anticipate will be a key part of the wide game and the pressing football that I intend to play. Keith Watson: 30 years old, Scottish. Is rated 3*/3*. Is more of a physical player than Randall, and is experienced at SPL level based on his stints here, at Dundee United, Hibernian, and St. Johnstone. A good backup, and someone who brings experience to the team who can be trusted. Center Back: Callum Morris: 30 years old, Northern Irish. Rated 3.5*/3.5*. What I like about Callum is that he is your classic center back who can win duels in the air, and is tough as nails. He is one part of of my first choice pairing, and should help us stay up. João Silva: 22 years old, Portuguese. Rated 3.5*/4*. This guy signed on a free looking for a chance, after bouncing around the lower leagues in Italy. A little speedier than Morris, he is a natural counterpart to his partner, and is someone I hope to develop as part of what I want Ross County to become. Left Back: Carlos Tremarco: 34 years old, English. Rated 3*/3*. A veteran player who joins as a free transfer from our local rivals in Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Might be starting on the decline, but has good mentals. If nothing else, he can be used with mentoring younger players, or maybe even a coach. Will give him a chance, but he might be replaced. Alex Iacovitti: 22 years old, Scottish. Rated 2.5*/4.5*. This guy is going to challenge Tremarco for a place in the team, and is looking like he could be quite good. Like his mental stats, and his physical stats can improve with more playing time. Look for him to get a look in during the Betfred Cup group stages, and he might get more playing time. Center Midfield: Iain Vigrus: 32 years old, Scottish. Rated 4*/4*. A player who has bounced around, and is in his second spell with Ross County. He is a classic box to box style midfielder, with the ability to link up between the defense and attack. He is someone who still has a lot to give the club, and will be a key part of the midfield. Stephen Kelly: 20 years old, Scottish. Rated 3.5*/5*, and has 2 Scotland U21 caps. Stephen is a heck of a young talent, but sadly is on loan from Rangers, and I don't think that Stephen Gerrard would like to sell it to us. He has a lot of technique for a youngster, and will be a more defensive midfielder, but he can play anywhere in the midfield. Hopefully he loves us enough to stick around. Ross Draper: 31 years old, English. Rated 3*/3*. Ross is someone that I personally have used in an FM 17 save with Hamilton, and he has the abiltiy to play in midfield or as a center back. As a veteran SPL player who is no nonsense, I think that he can be able to cover in positions if need be. Left Winger: Michael Gardyne: 34 years old, Scottish. Rated 4*/4*. Michael has been with the club permanently since 2007, after coming through the Celtic youth system under Martin O'Neill. He is our captain, and someone I am not planning to sell as he would be someone that can provide both passes and shots from the wings, and considering that I prefer to have the wingers come up and attack, he will be critical. Attacking Midfielder: Reagan Charles-Cook: 23 years old, Jamaican. Rated 3.5*/4.5*. He is my attacking playmaker, and he has a ton of stamina, and has run for days across training and friendly matches. Not afraid to ask questions of the defense and with an aggressive mindset, he is someone who can and will be a good bet to get goals and assists all year. Maybe even getting a callup in a CONCACAF qualifier? Right Winger: Jermaine Hylton: 28 years old, English. Rated 3*/3*. Jermaine provides similar qualities to Reagan and Michael, though is more of a hard worker. He is someone who has a good work rate, and can compliment the attack. Another player who provides cover in multiple places, which every manager loves. Striker: Ross Stewart: 24 years old, Scottish. Rated 3.5*/4*. Ross is our first choice striker, and someone who can be counted on to finish with his good ratings in that area. He is also our main penalty taker, and can be targeted on offensive set pieces, even though I will admit that I'm not the best free kick and corner player on this board. He is going to be a fun player to have up front.
  2. 21 May 2016, Hampden Park As the Hibernian players celebrated winning the Scottish Cup after 114 years of hurt, one fan in the stands was wondering if that could have been him. Luke Jones was born in Edinburgh, and had grown up a massive fan of Hibernian. It had been his lifelong dream to wear the green and be part of the squad that finally broke the dominance of the Old Firm clubs. A central midfielder, he had joined the Hibernian academy at age 12, and was hoping that he could prove himself to the club and earn a chance to play at the top level of the Scottish game. Sadly, Luke would never get the chance. When he was 16, he had suffered a devastating leg break in an academy game against Aberdeen's Under 18 side. Luke would never play again as he had to retire under medical advice. Despite not getting to realize his dreams, he still went to Easter Road, and wanted to stay involved in the game, and began to plan for a future in coaching. After graduating from university, Luke began to take his coaching badges and started to work at the Highland Football Academy. Mainly working with the Under 12s, Luke found that he had enjoyed his work, and felt that he could make a life in the Highlands, as that way he could help get someone started who could do what he couldn't do in his own playing career. By the day of the Scottish Cup Final between Hibernian and Rangers, Luke was keeping an eye out to see if there was a club who would love to have him manage, and maybe at the SPFL level. 24 July 2020, Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall "Mr. Jones, a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for agreeing to interview for the manager's position at Ross County. My name is Roy MacGregor, and I am the chairmen of the football club. Let me ask you, what is your experience like, and what do you think of the football club?" Now 29, Luke took a look at the chairmen and the rest of the board. He cleared his throat, and began to speak. "Thanks again for the chance, and I'm glad to share what I can offer to this great football club. I played as a youth in the Hibernian academy before getting injured and having to retire. For the past 7 years, I have been working at the Highland Football Academy where I have coached various youth sides, and have had success in helping to develop 5 players that have gone on to play in the Highland League or in League Two. My thoughts are that the club has been a success story since joining the senior leagues. They have been competitive in all of the divisions, and have been able to build a fantastic fanbase. I have a plan that would allow this club to stay in the Premiership, and eventually build the club into a strong position based on what I think is the way to break through the glass ceiling that clubs outside the Old Firm have." MacGregor looked back at Luke, and saw that the young man was serious about his thoughts. "You are certainly ambitious, and I would like to hear what you think would be your plan of attack." The rest of the board nodded, as they took notes. Luke stood up, and grinned. "Of course. What I envision for Ross County is to make sure that the club stay in the Premiership, with an eye on having some good results in the cup. The facilities that the club have are very good, and my plan is to have a good homegrown core that can be supplemented by younger signings that need to get first team football. Then, I plan to have us build up where we can challenge the likes of St. Johnstone, the Edinburgh clubs, and Aberdeen to be the best of the rest. Then, with the extra cash from cup runs and maybe even European runs, then we can build up to challenge the Old Firm. It will take time, but I want to make sure that the club are profitable and can use that cash to enhance our revenue streams and invest into the youth academy. I've seen firsthand that the investments that both this club and Inverness Caledonian Thistle have made into the Highland Football Academy, and I want to leverage my knowledge of youth development to produce good players that can contribute here, even if they have to be sold on. I do respect that the Old Firm have advantages, but at the end of the day Celtic and Rangers are football clubs. There is no rulebook that mandates they win the league all the time, and why not Ross County?" 30 July, Global Energy Stadium Luke sat down at his desk, getting ready to take his first look at the Ross County players that had been assembled. He was glad to have gotten the job, especially as the national media were wondering who the former youth coach was with no experience at the professional level. But Luke wasn't concerned about what others were thinking. This was going to be an interesting ride. Ross County Background Stadium: Victoria Park, seats 6,541 Youth Facilities: Good Training Facilities: Great Junior Coaching: Adequate Youth Recruitment: Average Finances: (618,375 pounds in the bank) Transfer Budget: (150,000 pounds) Wage Budget: (31,232 per week, spending 27,932)
  3. Thanks Neil. I haven't seen too many stories on here or FMCU with either Ross County or ICT, and figured that it would be a fun long term save with plenty of goals. How I plan to deal with those goals will be mentioned in the introduction of the manager.
  4. When most people think about football in Scotland, their minds will generally think about Rangers and Celtic. The two members of the Old Firm, and both clubs have dominated the Scottish football landscape for generations. They have combined to win every single league title since Aberdeen did it in 1984-85 under Sir Alex Ferguson. That has led to the narrative that Scottish Football is nothing more than just the Old Firm clubs, and everyone else battling for third. However, in recent years there have been clubs that haven't been in the Old Firm that have had moments to remember. Clubs like Ross County, Hibernian, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Aberdeen, St. Mirren, and Kilmarnock have won trophies in the past decade or so. The national team qualified for Euro 2020, and did draw at Wembley against England. But there is one club that is going to be the focus of this story. Ross County was formed in 1929 after the merger of two local clubs, and played in the Highland League until the 1990s. They had developed a reputation as a side who would win against teams from higher divisions in the Scottish Cup. At the start of the 1994-95 season, the Scottish Football League had two extra slots due to reconstruction into four tiers. Ross County was elected to fill one of those spots, along with their Highland rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Ross County was able to adapt well to the lower leagues, and were able to improve under the management of a young Derek Adams. After joining the club in 2007, Adams guided the club to a Challenge Cup final in 2008, though they lost to Raith. After leaving in 2010 to join Hibs as an assistant, Adams returned in May of 2011. Under Adams's management, Ross County were promoted to the Premiership after winning the 2011-12 Scottish First Division title. Since that season, Ross County have spent most of their time in the Premiership, despite one relegation. They also won their first major trophy by beating Hibernian 2-1 to win the 2015-16 Scottish League Cup. Not bad for a club that is one of the younger clubs in the current SPFL, and especially being a Highland club. Ross County are nicknamed the Staggies, and play their games at Victoria Park in Dingwall. They share a fierce rivalry with Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Highland Derby, as they are the two most successful teams currently in the Highlands. An interesting fact is that Victoria Park holds more people than the population of Dingwall. So why Ross County? I don't support them, have never seen them play, and have never been to Scotland in my life. Well, I think it's a fun save for a couple of reasons. First, it would be more of a challenge in overthrowing the Old Firm by using Ross County than one of the Edinburgh clubs or Aberdeen. Secondly, I've never done a long term Scottish save, and never used Ross County. My experience with Scottish teams in FM is mostly stops on journeyman saves at St. Mirren, Hamilton, and Edinburgh City. Plus, since I'm not planning to get FM 22, this can be a long term save. The next post will be introducing the manager, and setting up the narrative side of the story.
  5. Ultimate FM Challenge Update: 2022 Season Things are going decently well with Cobreloa, as we have a chance to stay up, but I'll let you know at the end of the season. I was able to get my first full international job with a senior side. So, who am I going to work with? That's right, I will be taking over the reigns at Bosnia. They just failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and are currently ranked 38th in the world. The goal is going to be to qualify for the 2024 Euros and be competitive in the Nations League. What does our group look like in the Nations League? We are bottom, but we have yet to play against Denmark. We also drew with Belgium at home and lost to Portugal away. So if we can stay in Division A in the Nations League, qualify for the 2024 Euros, and make a good run in the 2024 Euros, then it would help with a reputation. Of course, we are staying with Cobreloa for now. Challenge Progress: 0/10 Domestic Top Leagues 0/10 Domestic Cups 0/5 Club Continential Championships 0/5 National Team Confederations Championships 0/1 World Cup 0/1 Club World Cup Other Trophies: Chilean First Division B (Cobreloa, 2021) Job History: Club: Cobreloa: 2021- International: Peru U20: 2021 Bosnia: 2022-
  6. @berrers Congrats on winning the CONCACAF Champions League with Minnesota United. As a proud Everton supporter, I wish you all the best with the Toffees.
  7. FM 21 Ultimate Challenge: End of 2021 Season Update So when I took over at Cobreloa, I was hoping to get in the top half of the table. Well, I didn't deliver on that promise. But it's okay, as results looked really good. This might be the craziest run in I have ever had. We just clicked with a more attacking mindset and a 4-2-4 tactic that seemed to work well. So, how did the league table end up? Promoted as champions, thanks to some amazing form by ourselves, and some mixed form by some of our rivals. I know that winning the Chilean second tier doesn't count, but this is going to be so critical. Not only does it mean I have something tangible on my resume, and can allow me to get better jobs. I'm also still the manger of Peru U20, but I might give it up at the end of the year to get a senior national team job. I'm planning to stay on after promotion, but obviously will be looking in case something comes up at the end of a season. Challenge Progress: 0/10 Top Leagues 0/10 Domestic Cups 0/5 Continental Club Titles 0/5 International Confederation Titles 0/1 World Cup 0/1 Club World Cup Other Titles: 2021 Chilean 2nd Tier (Cobreloa) Job History Club: Cobreloa: 2021- International: Peru U20: 2021-
  8. Ultimate FM Challenge: New Club Job So after applying to a bunch of jobs, someone finally decided to give me a chance. And I'm pretty excited about it. So who gave me a chance? Cobreloa, who currently sit 9th in the Chilean second tier. And I join them at the perfect time, as there is a midseason break. Thus, I shall get to work with scheduling some friendlies to improve morale, as well as to get to know the team tactically. So, how are we looking in the table? 9th is not good. However, we are only halfway through, and are 12 points clear of relegation. More importantly, we are actually only 7 points off the top. But to get promotion, we are going to need to win the league. 2nd doesn't qualify you for promotion or even a playoff spot. Thankfully the board only wants a top half finish, and to build towards promotion. Goal is to get off to a good start, and to start to improve my rep so I can get a better job either in Chile or abroad.
  9. Ultimate FM Challenge: 2021 South America U20 Championship First international tournament in my first job with Peru. Goal was to qualify for the finals, and anything there would be a bonus. First Stage: Topping the group and going undefeated? I'll take it. As I said, I can't take credit for beating Argentina, as the AI handled that. We beat Paraguay and Venezuela by an identical 1-0 score, and had a good draw with Chile. Final Stage: A disappointment, though not a huge surprise. We drew our opening game against Chile, but then lost the last 4 games. Most disappointing was that we could have gotten 4th and a spot at the next U20 World Cup if we had beaten Colombia. Sadly, we could not. All in all, a pretty positive showing. Manager reputation is unchanged, but the experience should help us out in the future. Not a lot of jobs open, so I am prepared to wait it out for a good job and for more options.
  10. So sadly the save I was using wouldn't load. The good news is that I can start again, and I wasn't too far along anyway. So I'm restarting, but with a twist. Instead of going to South Africa and Asia, why not start in the Americas? I'm using the same Miguel Santos profile, and hopefully starting in either North America or South America will be the ticket. So after looking over some jobs, I ended up getting an interesting job. Peru is currently in the U20 South American Championships, having beaten Argentina. It's pretty rare to take charge in the middle of an international tournament, but this should be a good job. If we can have a good tournament, then that should raise my rep. On a personal note, Peru is a country I haven't managed in much, so this will be a new experience. Plus, it's always good to take a look at the young talent in South America first hand.
  11. @goonergez Thanks for the kind words. FM 21 Ultimate Challenge: 2021 Update So after the dumpster fire that was my last job, I ended up applying for a lot of jobs, and decided to try a different league. Well, someone was nice enough to take me on. Sichuan Jiuniu is my next port of call, in the Chinese 2nd tier. They are a younger club, and seem to look a lot better than what I had in South Africa. It's going to be a relegation scrap, but we have some good talent, including a youngster on loan from Manchester City. Yes, you read that right. All the board wants from me is to stay in the division for the next few years. I managed in China once, though that was before China curbed a lot of the spending rules. Hopefully this goes well.
  12. FM 21 Ultimate Challenge--2020/21 Update We go live to South Africa for a live look at how things went for Miguel Santos. In fact, there is even a picture. Yeah, that did not go well at all. In hindsight, that was a bad club. Despite a tactical change, we just couldn't get the results, and left in 13th place. This resignation was more of a go before you were pushed, as the board called me into a meeting to discuss manager's future. Only getting 11 points is bad, and to make matters worse the club was in debt and would be in huge trouble. Taking a hit to the reputation was probably coming anyway, so why not take the hit. I've loaded up a couple more countries and will update you next when I get a job. Hopefully I pick better.
  13. 2021 U20 Cup of Nations: Ghana U20 First international tournament, and my first taste of management. Would Ghana be able to win the tournament, or at least not do too badly? Well, that wasn't great. Drawing with Mauritania was bad, even if they were hosting. Drawing with Nigeria was not terrible, but we needed to beat Tunisia to go through. Well, thanks to striker Kwadow Opoku scoring all 5 goals, we were able to get the result to go through in second place. Our reward was playing South Africa, who was just better. We beat Tunisia to get the bronze medal. On the bright side, Ghana did qualify for the next U20 World Cup, which I am not sure I will stick around for. That being said, I will stick around for a bit, so I could keep getting experience. On the club side, jobs started to open up during the tournament, and I applied to all of them. After getting told no a bunch, someone finally said yes. Y Sekhukhune United currently play in the second tier of South African football, and they have been struggling in the league, which got their last manager sacked. Fun fact, the club is located in one of the Boer republics in the northeast of South Africa. So what exactly does Mr. Santos need to do? Not too bad. Just try and build a promotion winning team quickly and a focus on young players. We have 14 games left, and are oddly both in a relegation battle and can move up the table quickly considering how tightly bunched it is around us. Let's hope this goes well, though I could screw this up.
  14. Guess I will give this a try, and thanks to @vikeologist for running this. The above screenshot is to show that the manager is Sunday Leaguer with no badges. I went with 20 years old because that way I have more time to manage to get all the trophies. To start, I loaded up China, Mexico, United States, Australia, and South Africa. In past saves, I haven't managed too long in these countries, so I am excited to see where this goes. In case nobody will hire me at club level, I am willing to manage a youth international side to get some experience and maybe win something. After applying for a few jobs, I ended up getting offers from a bunch of youth international teams. And I finally got a job. Ghana was a nation I managed on an old save a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed my time with the Black Stars. CAF is a really fun region, and most of my international success on FM has happened at the AFCON. The U20 Cup of Nations is coming up in a few months, and my goal is to try and win it, so a club can take notice. And getting a coaching badge might help.
  15. 2021 April Update: Everton de Viña del Mar Hello and welcome back to the thread. Last time out the club was in a continental qualification spot, and results were looking pretty good. How are things looking right now? Results: Unfortunately, we have struggled in front of goal, and were lucky to get a couple of draws. Colo Colo away wasn't a result that I was expecting, but I felt like it would have been nice. I've scheduled a couple of friendlies in the next month to boost up some morale. The two draws at home against similar sized opposition was disturbing, and we outplayed both of them via expected goals. Hopefully the AI is not figuring out the tactic that I am using, though if I need to make a change it is something that I can investigate. I did change tactics in preseason, and it's not like I am going to be wedded to a specific style, as I fully expect to have players leave and join us. League Table: Still being in a Sudamericana place is good, but we are going to need to get some points on the board as we are very much in the thick of a group of teams that are going to be fighting. The advantage we have is that we are not playing in other competitions, though that will change as teams start to finish off the group stages of the Libertadores and Sudamericana in the coming weeks. Still happy to not being in a relegation battle, and shouldn't have to worry about the board looking to sack me. Manager Performance: The board is still happy that we are still flying pretty high in the league, and they like that the squad morale is still good despite the bad run of form. Of course, we need to score goals as they don't like how performances have changed in that regard. The next month is going to be critical in order to improve our position, as well as being able to make sure a relegation fight is happening. Finances: We still are in the black, even though attendances are not exactly filling up the stadium. I don't want to risk having the board sell players due to a low bank balance to ask for upgrades. That happened back in preseason, so I want to make sure that any prize money and sponsor money goes to that, as I don't like to bankrupt clubs. There may be changes due to a couple of friendlies coming up that I have to arrange. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share. Best of luck to you guys in whatever save you are doing. Until next time, have a good one and may your tactics be good and the wins be plenty.
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