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228 "I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you?"

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About Mandy42

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    I'm 36 , working in Wakefield. I'm an unpublished author who when he can't write plays computer games or goes on long bike rides to clear my head.

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    Very proud to work for the NHS


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    I write, cycle, play computer games, not necessarily in that order

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    Leicester City

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  1. Week 36: Tuesday 14 July 2020 Chelsea v Norwich 4-2 Wednesday 15 July 2020 Burnley v Wolves 18:00 1-1 Man City v Bournemouth 18:00 2-2 Newcastle v Spurs 18:00 0-2 Arsenal v Liverpool 20:15 1-2 Thursday 16 July 2020 Everton v Aston Villa 18:00 1-1 Leicester v Sheffield Utd 18:00 1-1 Crystal Palace v Man Utd 20:15 0-2 Southampton v Brighton 20:15 1-1 Friday 17 July 2020 West Ham v Watford 20:00 0-2
  2. August 2024 Senior Squad Review Such a top flight problem to have, but deciding who would go where in the four different starting XI's I was going to be in charge with was quite a quandary. My first thought was to do it on age, having everyone under 18 in the U18s and then go from there. However I quickly realised I had some very young very talented players, and I didn't see how having Thomas Beil at 18 in the U23s when he had played for Crystal Palace's first team all last season. So I scrapped the age plan, well not entirely, and went with something else. I've creamed the best players off for the senior squad (which should have been obvious), however last year the first XI was the best XI players at the club (in my opinion). This season, while it will still be full of good players, it will be majorly the best young players, the aim is that this team might not be at it's peak this season, or even next season or the season after, however this team will grow and play together for (hopefully) many years to come. It will allow me to see where (if any) the weaknesses are in this crop of players and address them on a season by season basis, while (hopefully) keeping the core the same. The second XI will be made up of the older (though no one is truly old) players in the squad, who will be phased out as and when they begin to decline or better prospects come through from the academy. This means that initially the second XI might be the better team, however over time they will likely not improve as much as I hope the first XI will. We will see! First XI Goalkeeper Alex Meret begins only his second full season with us, in that time he has played 58 times and conceded 24 goals. When he is on form he is unbeatable. Defenders Harvey White came to us from Spurs, they played him as a mezzala in the 29 appearances he made for them. When I saw he could play as a wing back I thought he would fit perfectly into our system as our more attacking wing back on the left. He never scored at Spurs, but in 41 games for us has netted five times. Our left sided centre back is Ethan Ampadu, he is probably our most gifted central defender with the ball at his feet. I contemplated having him in the libero slot but his player trait of "stays back at all times" makes him perfectly suited for sitting on the left side of our defence and providing security for Harvey White to maraud forward. Instead the libero position is taken by our Vice Captain Nathan Wood. To my horror I somehow convinced myself to get him to train "gets forward whenever possible" which while it still makes me a little queasy probably makes @ManUtd1 proud. The first player to make the swap from second XI last year to the first XI this season, firstly as he compliments the other two, with his strongest attributes being his aerial presence, something the other two lack by comparison. Secondly, he is of similar age so the partnership can develop and they can prosper together for (hopefully) many seasons to come. Rounding out our first XI back five is James Justin, he has been at the club since before I took over, and has played second fiddle to Tommy Tavares since I signed him in my first season in charge. However, having smashed the assists record last season and continued this preseason in the same vein with two assists and a goal, I have decided to give him his chance. Which, completely without knowing it means I have put together a home nations back five! Midfielders Choppa sits at the base of our midfield, well he roams around following the further forward players to provide support in order to offer a recycled ball, and be able to do something with it when he receives it. He also moves up the pitch providing space for Nathan Wood to come into, either as another passing option, or to bring the ball out from the back. Yari is a natural at the mezzala position, he is still the singular most talented player in the squad and I hope he continues to grow on last season where he made much more of an impact than in his first season. Thomas Beil takes the step from out on loan last season to into the first XI this season. He performed well for Palace last year and has impressed me in preseason with his range of passing and work rate. He appears to be the perfect foil for Yari, hardworking and always looking to play a 1-2 means he will link up the rest of the midfield. Naci Unuvar will be our first XI inverted winger for his second full season with us. When we signed him he had broken ribs and missed the first month, having played at the Olympics he is in need of a rest so will be introduced to the season slowly. He is our leading league goalscorer from last season with 13 goals, and our record signing at £84.4 million. He fits the mould of young talented player who will grow with the team around him perfectly. In the off season he has been working on and is now able to round keepers whenever he feels like it! Luca is our first XI shadow striker, an injury at the back end of last season put pay to him removing his trait for "runs with the ball rarely" he is back to working on maximising his dribbling of 18 in training. In preseason he was charging up the field with the ball so I am hopeful it won't be too much longer. Second XI Goalkeeper Woodman is more likely to play in the cups, than in every second XI game, but we will see, he is happy with his current playing time as a backup, but that is probably just a goalkeepers mentality. I consider him my insurance policy that cost me £5M Defenders Tommy has slipped into the second XI due to James Justin out performing him, while his play on the left isn't as polished as on the right he is the better attacking option compared to the other players in the second Xi. Edson took us two attempts to sign, and is a well rounded defender who can make a difference in both boxes. He moves to the second XI to make way for the younger Jocic Jesus Vallejo is the second XI libero, he doesn't get forward like Nathan Wood, instead he tries long passes and his composure of 17 means I trust him stepping out of defence with the ball. I picked Scott McKenna up on a free at the end of his contract as a backup or emergency option, he has been worth every penny I didn't spend. Much like Jocic in the first XI, he provides a much needed aerial, no nonsense presence which dovetails with the more forward thinking of the other two players. Sean was snapped up when he was released from Chelsea, he's ok, if I was being honest he is probably the weak link in the whole senior squad, but hopefully he will do a job. If not then Mariano Gonazlez will likely get a chance from the U23 squad. Midfielders Henrique Jocu brings a bit more grit to the deep midfield role, he is quite capable of putting the ball about, however he also has no problem with putting himself about and mopping up for those in front of him. Club Captain Youri spent all of last season in the second XI and didn't complain, so he can do it again. He put in some good performances and relished the chance to step into the first XI at the end of the season when we needed him in order to cover injury. Sidnei Tavares scored eight times last season and benefited massively from having a full season partnership with the captain playing alongside him. He is also currently our only confirmed academy player in the senior squad, which means when he isn't playing in the second XI he will make the bench for the first XI due to the challenge requirements. Maddison brings some much needed experience and talent to the second XI winger position as David Kirby has dropped back into the U23 squad. This also solves the problem of how to get him to fit into a mezzala slot in either XI when I have four players I want to play there more. Mount was the second XI shadow striker at the start of last season, he moved up to the first XI when Hannes Wolf faltered. If Luca doesn't gel in his new position, or becomes injured again, he will likely make the same transition again. And that is it! we have a very, very talented U23 team, a real mix of purchased players and top quality academy prospects, depending on how the season goes and injuries they may make the odd cameo to help out with the challenge requirements for always fielding one academy player in the match squad.
  3. Off Season 2024 Don't worry I have all the screenshots I need for my stats spreadsheet, I just figured I would spread them out a little bit, rather than wade through it all in one go! Which means once more, we strip down the engine, take a look at the component parts and decide in what order we are going to rebuild the machine to tackle the start of the new challenge. Before we go much further, I would like to admit that with the restart of real football, the current transfers and transfer rumours surrounding my team Chelsea, I am very much looking forward to the newest version, and am already coming up with ways in which to make my FM 21 save a little more complex than just a Chelsea domination thread. Thus, in the interim before the new version, I will be dipping my toes in the water of some of the ideas I have, using this career as a practice. Hence my decision to take over the U23 and U18 teams as of this year, and the change in pace of my activity in the transfer market. Which I guess is a good enough place to start: Ruben Neves has gone! for a fraction of the cost that we signed him for, however, his wages are off the bill and his negative attitude out of the changing room so all in all it's a positive. Vashon lasted one transfer window at the club, but then when you are classed as an emergency backup, you can't be expected to stay after the emergency has passed! Amusingly the fans gave me stick for signing him, but he won their goal of the season award with his only goal for the club, oh well. The only other thing to take note of is the drastic reduction in the number of loans. With our facility upgrades ongoing and a massive drive this off season to improve coaching staff at all levels it struck me, why am I sending my players out to clubs with worse coaches and facilities? Why not keep them at the club and play them in the U23s etc under my direct management. We shall see how this works out, as depending on where the loan was to, I guess they might receive more of a challenge away from the club. However I am hoping this will be offset by me trying to run the U23s as I do the senior squad, with 2 separate XI's which would mean any players who make it and break into the senior squad will already have developed relationships from playing with the same players for a while. Thus the change of direction in the transfer market, not so much around quality, although there are some potential gems in here, but more on quantity. If I want to afford the U23s the same level of rotation as the senior squad, then I need more players. The top four free transfers are all players released by their clubs at the end of their youth contracts. Now these players might not make it all the way into my 1st team, but they signed with some value behind them and they will be able to do a job in the U23s to give my future stars a rest. The bottom 3 are more like it, Adrian Rodriguez was a 16 year old Argentinean winger that my scouts told me to sign regardless of the price. I've waited pretty much 18 months for him to join the club due to rules restricting the movement of players under 18. Mariano Gonzalez joins his countryman Adrian, he's a right wing back with more South American flair than grit, which I will admit excites me. Speaking of grit, Clement Olaizola comes to us with the hope of giving us another dimension at the base of midfield. he's basically a Spanish Roy Keane with great tacking, determination and aggression. I want to tinker with that mentality of player in such a position in the U23 squad before I make the changes to the senior setup. Further reinforcements will be added throughout the season, basically when these whelps reach 18 then we can snatch them up! I've also made a concerted effort to not be seduced by anymore attacking midfielders! as we have more than we could possibly need. Thus why five of the six players I paid money for are either defenders or a goalkeeper, will have to see what happens. Sticking with transfers: It is fair to say my model isn't the one being followed by the other big teams in the league. However both those teams have new managers this season (again for Arsenal) so I guess they are trying to stamp their personality on the squad. However that now makes it at least £200M spent by Chelsea in each of the last three windows, with them peaking last year at over £400M. This could be interesting! This less so, but nice to see him getting his chance at least in FM. So moving into the new season how does everyone think we will fair? Well I am so glad you asked! The board upped their league expectation from Europa League to Champions League qualification, which is fine, seen as I told the players I wanted Champions League in the end of team meeting anyway. In comparison to Sir Alex, I've won my 1st league title three years earlier than he did, however he backed up his maiden league title with a league and FA Cup double the year after. I am very glad that the board don't seem to see us as challengers just because we got our head over the line on the final day. The bookmakers don't see us as winning it, which is fine, though they haven't exact;y written us off. Also if that is to be taken seriously, they expect there to be a huge gap between the top seven and the rest of the competition, which wasn't the case last year. The media doesn't think we will win it either, however they have us higher up the pile than the bookies. Perhaps this is a safer bet, as we have finished 3rd twice already under my management. This amuses me, and is a good sign. Three of our players on the list for potential young player of the year. The other three are players I have shorlisted to keep an eye on! With all that out of the way it was time to get into preseason, however there were just a few snags as the season drew closer. Namely International football! European Championships, and then the Olympics, which meant at it's peaks I had 25 players away from the club. As it stands, on the eve of the Premier League opener, I will only just have gotten Naci Unuvar back, and Edson Alvarez will still be away with the Mexico U23s, though at 26 I presume he is there as a chaperone! It wasn't the most auspicious start with us being held to a draw by Dynamo, however we had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside late in the second half, but I couldn't really go too ballistic after telling the players it was all about the performance and fitness, not the result. Thomas Beil stepped straight into the team and played as though he had been born there, providing a wonderful through ball assist for David Kirby to get on the end of and slot home. I had made some tactical changes to the Mjolnir formation and this was the 1st game in which I rolled them out. I am coupling a narrow defensive structure with a much lower line of engagement to attempt to make us more compact against better teams, while enticing lesser teams to bring the ball into our half as we won't chase it as hard in their half. I must admit I wasn't over awed by it in this game, however I put some of the disappointment down to the very poor match sharpness of the lads. We looked better, much better against Roeselare, Thomas Beil continued to impress, while James Justin stepped up to lay claim to the first XI wing back role. As Tommy injured himself in the fourth minute against Dynamo. He did his cause no harm at all with a goal in the next game against Mallorca, while academy prospect Reece Freestone came off the bench to score from a corner while giving some senior players a chance to rest their legs. In our only real benchmark test of preseason we lost to PSG in unlucky circumstances, their strike hit the post and bounced into the six yard box for a tap in halfway through the second half. By that point I had substituted what first XI players I had available and they were taking advantage of our kids! In the first half it had been a much more even game, we had hit the post twice and looked good at both ends of the pitch. In the second period we still created chances, we just lacked the quality to convert any of them against such prestigious opponents. Amusingly with this game being at home, we paid for the privilege of being beaten. Final game against Udinese and the formula was much the same, we would make our supremecy count in the first half, then concede as we rotated players in the second. Tommy began the road back to fitness with a goal, Reece got his second goal in two sub appearances which supports the whispers from my backroom staff who say he could be as good as Ethan Ampadu. With regards to the tactical changes it doesn't feel like I have broken the system, we see a bit more of the ball and the chances we create seem to have a higher chance of being on target. I feel I will persevere with it, as interestingly, despite the pressure of being defending champions I feel in no way required to perform as well as last season. Which is why I suppose I was so upbeat coming into the Community Shield. Late last season we limped to a 1-0 win over Arsenal on our way to the title, though back at the beginning of the season they started faster, recording a 1-0 win in the Super Cup. When they won the FA Cup last year I was looking forward to squaring off against them in another early season opener to see what difference a year had made. Last season's Super Cup had been a ding dong affair, very open and very even which saw them win through an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal on the counter. This years Community Shield was much different, they put us under sustained pressure for the majority of the first half, we had a few opportunities to counter, but not many. They saw the majority of the ball but struggled to do anything of an real quality with it. We grew in ascendancy in the second period but were unable to use our increased share of the ball well enough to find a winner. In the end, for the second time in his fledgling career, Luca Mortellaro put his penalty away to give us the win. Last season we waited until the final day to capture our first piece of silverware, this year we have our first on the first time of asking! Squad review for the coming season up next.
  4. Week 35: Saturday 11 July 2020 Norwich v West Ham 12:30 2-2 Watford v Newcastle 12:30 1-1 Liverpool v Burnley 15:00 2-0 Sheffield Utd v Chelsea 17:30 1-2 Brighton v Man City 20:00 0-3 Sunday 12 July 2020 Wolves v Everton 12:00 1-1 Aston Villa v Crystal Palace 14:15 1-1 Spurs v Arsenal 16:30 0-0 Bournemouth v Leicester 19:00 1-2 Monday 13 July 2020 Man Utd v Southampton 20:00 2-1
  5. I’m at work at the moment I will take a look when I next get chance
  6. With that we are onto crosses, which seems the logical place to go after passing stats. Once again, in order of league position down the left, this shows number of crosses completed over the season, and number of goals. Now 1st thing to stress is, these are total goal numbers, definitely not numbers of goals scored from crosses. The game gives you goals, goals from corners, goals from free kicks but no goals from crosses that I can find. But lets for a second say that it is, that for some reason, the only way to score a goal in the league is to cross the ball into the box, like a game of headers and volleys when you were in school PE class. That would mean that it took Man Utd the team with the most completed crosses 375 attempts to score 70 goals. That's 5.3 crosses per goal. At the other end of the spectrum Aston Villa have the lowest number of completes crosses with 125, they scored 32 goals, so again in this strange crosses as the only way to score goals world, they needed 3.9 crosses to score their 32 goals. As I am curious about our stats, we completed 237 crosses, scored 78 goals, 3.03 crosses per goal. So what you say, teams who have the ball more often in the opponents half, or around their box can deliver more crosses, teams with poorer wide players are going to complete less crosses. So lets add in another stat, cross completion percentage. As luck would have it, Man Utd, the team who completed the most crosses, also have the highest cross completion percentage at 26%. That means they attempted just under 1,500 crosses in order to complete 375. Villa with a success rate of 13% needed 1,210 attempts to complete 125. Ourselves, 20% success rate meant that 237 successful crosses came from a total of 1,185 attempts. So now our figures are 1,500, 1,210 and 1,185 crosses required for 70, 32 and 78 goals respectively. Which means Man Utd need to put in 24.5 crosses per goal, Villa, 37.8 crosses per goal, ourselves 15.19 crosses per goal. Which again you say is complete rubbish, because not all goals are scored from crosses, to which I say, that is exactly my long winded point. An unknown proportion of these goals are scored from crosses, so the best case scenario for crossing efficiency is the one laid out above, in reality even more crosses would be required to score that many goals. Which has interesting ramifications for they way our teams play both with and without the ball. I am sure there are ways to maximise gains from crosses, get players with good crossing, strikers with good heading, overlaps on the wings to create space for a better potential delivery. But unless your team has these things then to me the above stats suggest that if the best team in the league in this metric only completes 26% of it's crosses then there could well be better areas to focus on in order to score goals and win games. Conversely if the best team in the league at crossing needs 24.5 crosses per goal (in a perfect crosses only world) more in the real world, then that says to me that if I am going to give up space anywhere on the pitch around my box it is going to be out wide. I'd rather defend narrow, have defenders who can head away all these required crosses to score goals. That said, a lot of the goals I concede from crosses come against my wingback at the back post or beyond it, which suggests I need wingbacks with better heading, as defending narrow places them in danger of being responsible for an area of the pitch inside the box that opponents could exploit. Now couple defending narrow with the engagement line ramble in the last post. If you are giving up space out wide, then it should surely dictate that your press is always from inside to outside (when the ball goes wide) meaning you are automatically limiting the opponents options by pressing them against the touchline not away from it. If you are only pressing in your own half, then it might entice teams who like to keep possession and you aren't pressing in their own half, to bring the into your half in wide areas. The sense of a safe out ball meaning they are more likely to come forward and at least give you the chance of winning the ball back. The balance with this is that your players defending narrow means that they will likely have to up their intensity again, as giving the opposition space out wide will inevitably lead to them trying to use the full width of the pitch, thus increasing the area your players have to cover. This is hopefully offset by the potential of being able to draw them down cul de sacs out wide and trap the ball there against the touchline in order to turn over possession. Or it might just result in marauding wingers crossing over and over again until they finally connect with their striker to put the ball in the net. As always it needs to be used appropriately depending on your opponent and like anything in this game, the beauty of it is nothing will work all the time.
  7. I was wondering, as I tinkered with more stats, other than just spotting trends and pointing out features, what is the actual application of any of the stuff in the above post, is there any? Well once again, this is anything but genius, but here goes. If on average a team completes at least 75% of it's passes and within any given game makes a certain percentage of mistakes, then it's not rocket science to suggest that you want the completed passes to be in areas of the pitch that do not hurt you, and the uncompleted passes to be in the areas that provide you with the most benefit, such as in the final 3rd at each end of the pitch. IE a misplaced pass that rolls out for a goal kick rather than finding their striker in a position to shoot, or a misplaced pass that rolls to your striker just outside their box, these are both much more beneficial than a cross field ball ending up in the stand on the halfway line for a throw in. So how, in very simple terms do you attempt to accomplish this? All this is completely theoretical, I have done no match practice on this but it is something I will be tinkering with as I move forward. If you want to benefit from misplaced passes and mistakes around your opponents box then you want the ball to be rolled out around your opponents box, this would suggest that you don't want to prevent short goalkeeper distribution, you want the ball to be around the opposition box for you to win it back. Now, whether instructing your players to prevent short distribution actually dissuades the goalkeeper from doing so a significant amount of the time I am unsure, but every time he goes long with the ball, then by default you can't win the ball around their box. Now in order to win the ball back, you will need to have your pressing intensity as high as your players physical attributes can sustain, and as high an engagement line as you dare to ensure you are in their faces as soon as the ball is in play. Accompanying this is having as high a defensive line as you can dare as well, as the higher your defensive line, the more players become available to press in the opposition half. Obviously the double edge of this sword is it creates more and more space behind your defensive line to be exploited. Letting the opponent complete passes that will not hurt you has some similarities but some major differences. Once more, letting the goalkeeper distribute short is an option, if they pass the ball between centre backs and goalkeeper they aren't going to score many goals, however the balance to this is you might struggle to get the ball back. Having a high defensive line with no pressure on the ball is a big no no, there is a huge difference between gambling that a ball playing defender can play a long through ball while under pressure, compared to sitting your defensive line on the halfway line and giving your opponent all day to pick out quarterback passes into the space behind you. This approach could work when you setup in your own half, your line of engagement is on the halfway line, your defensive line is back on or in your own box, your opponent can have the ball all they want in their own half, completing passes that don't hurt you all day. The second they cross the halfway line though you are at them like a pack of rabid dogs. Pressing intensity has nothing to do with how far up or down the pitch your players will travel, they will only press to your line of engagement. You can see this because just by moving the engagement line back you reduce intensity because your players don't press any less, they just press as hard in a reduced space. Now this allows your players to press hard for longer, as they have less ground to cover, and it may even force more opposition mistakes due to the increased number of players you have in that reduced space in which to press with. The balance to this is that, those mistakes are by definition going to be in your half, which means your team will have more work to do in order to turn them into goals. Plus, unless the opposition come into your half, you are likely to just let them have the ball, which might mean getting the ball back becomes a problem. It then becomes a battle of wills between you and the AI, do you extend your press and go looking for the ball in your opponents half, or does the AI stop playing it around in their own half and try and come win the game in the pressure cooker that is your half of the pitch? All this might just seem like the ramblings of (a still fairly young) man, I might be suggesting things that you have known for ages, or attempted and dismissed, but they are new to me. So I figured I would share my thought process with you, and help myself at the same time by having to go through it in my head in a way that made me able to articulate it (fair badly) onto this thread. So yeah, you have more of my rambling on other topics to look forward to! Lucky you!
  8. Moved from analysis of our 1st and 2nd team to teams in the league as a whole, starting with possession and passing stats. Now as you might imagine, for a manager managing a team whose focus is on a vertical, direct system which allows us to have maximum impact on the game without relying on having the ball all the time, I don't overly rate possession and passing stats. However some of it has given me pause to think, the teams along the bottom of the chart are in final league position order. So while you might expect the number of passes completed to fall off as you drop down the league, it isn't a linear progression, nor is the top half of the table full of teams who complete the most passes, which shows something I am sure most people know, there are many ways to skin a cat, and a varied number of tactics can be successful without having to pass the other team to sleep. Now, these numbers don't include crosses, that is a completely different statistic (I have no idea what FM defines as a cross), it also makes no indication of the length of any of these passes, they could be full length of the pitch hoofs or five yard taps between the keeper and defenders. Numbers of passes completed could indicate style of play, ourselves, Liverpool and Arsenal all sit below 15,000 passes, in the same sort of ball park as Brighton, Aston Villa and Birmingham respectively, but with a massive difference in league position. Now this could simply be that we do a lot more with those passes than teams further down the league, or it could suggest the way we play. A high pressing tactic that wins the ball back high up the pitch is going to require less passes to be effective than a team that builds from the back. Same with counter attacking teams or direct long ball teams. There is also a question of quality, the most passes completed is from Watford in 8th place with 18,106, this might suggest they are too patient in their build up, or attempt to keep the ball as a way to stop opponents from hurting them. Man City, with 17,601 passes finished 2nd, now while they still might be keeping the ball for the sake of keeping the ball, they are obviously doing more with it than Watford to have completed only 500 fewer passes but finished six spots further up the table. At the opposite end of the spectrum we made only 12,016 passes the lowest in the division, and we finished 1st. That indicates just how direct we were, compared to Brighton who made only 14 more passes than we did, but struggled to 14th spot. Could be our players had better vision, more quality, or simply we won the ball back further up the pitch which means we needed less passes to be so much more effective. Interestingly there is only 6,090 passes between Watford at the top, and ourselves at the bottom, which equates to just over 160 passes per game over the span of the season for the full spectrum of 20 teams. Spread that evenly over the whole league and for a team to move up a place in the passes completed "table" they would need to complete an average of eight more passes per game, which doesn't seem like a whole lot to me. Again this chart is in league order down the left side, it shows average % of possession and pass completion % for each team in the league. first thing that strikes me is that the lowest pass percentage is 78%, meaning even the worst teams complete three out of four passes. Obviously this is over the course of an entire season so they could be bang average in one game and completely on it in another, and they could be pressed into completing hardly any passes one game, and left alone to do what they wanted with the ball in others. This is just my opinion (well all of it is just my opinion) but it would suggest that extreme pressing is either not widespread, or not executed well by the majority of teams if it is widespread. As I would hope the percentages would be lower if every team in the league were pressing like their lives depended on it week in week out. That doesn't mean teams don't make mistakes, take our stats, 81% completion with 12,061 completed passes, which means the 19% we didn't complete is equal to 2,292 passes, on average 60 misplaced passes per game. I don't know if FM calculates it, but in real life football there is a suggestion that the ball is only really in play for just over an hour in any given game. Thus every minute of every game that the ball is in play one of my players misplaces a pass. Compared with Brighton, who only made 14 more passes than we did all season, it becomes more clear why their league position is worse, they were less accurate than we were only completing 78%. That 3% difference equals 354 extra misplaced passes for a total of 2,646 uncompleted over the whole season. That's 9 more in every single game all season, and whether they go straight to an opponent or just out of play and turn over possession, it is definitely a factor that explains why Brighton finished 13 places lower than we did. Average possession and pass completion percentage are much more linear than amount of passes completed, five of the lowest completion percentages are in the bottom seven teams in the league. No team in the bottom half had more than 50% possession, amusingly the only team who had exactly 50% possession is Birmingham in 16th place. In the top half, only two teams had less than 50% possession, ourselves with 43% (the lowest in the division) and Arsenal in fourth with 47%. Once again this can probably be attributed to the directness of our play, which is why we could be so successful with considerably less of the ball than say Chelsea, with 58% possession the highest average in the league. For comparison, Chelsea completed 17,115 passes, at a pass completion percentage of 88%, that is over 5,000 more passes than us and an increase in 7% in accuracy. However, averaged out over the season that leads to 54 misplaced passes per game, which is only six less than us per game. That would suggest that while they hold the ball longer than anyone else, have a lot more passes than most teams, they still make enough mistakes to attribute to a lower league position
  9. As I did at the halfway stage I'll take a look at some statistical analysis, once again this will probably come with a pinch of salt, as I'm not very good at it! And I only have a single season's data to look at. Though it is something I'm enjoying look at, numbers are soothing! First up is a look at 1st XI vs 2nd XI games played: 1st point of interest, I made a decision to focus on the league as the title race ran down and the gap between the top 3 became tighter and tighter. However, the 1st XI played 13 league games in the second half of the season, only one more than they played during the first half. This might suggest that my fixture list was front loaded with "big" teams. As during May, when we played 3 games a week apart, West Brom, Wolves and Birmingham, they would likely have been 2nd XI games if the fate of the season didn't hang on them. Which I guess begs the question, when does the fate of the season not hang on the result of a game? Next point, to say that board expectation didn't care about the Carabao Cup and wanted at least a FA Cup Semi Final finish (which we didn't provide) it is interesting to see that for the "lesser" competition we fielded the 1st team, in the two legged Semi and then Final. While the FA Cup was a 2nd XI competition throughout, with third and fourth round games against lower league opposition, and then my conscious effort to field the 2nd XI to improve my league form. Champions League was split, the two games against Dortmund to achieve board expectation were 1st XI, the two games against Liverpool at the same time we were focusing on the league were 2nd XI. Points per game, 1st XI came out with 2.69, with 35 points from 13 games, which means they won eleven and drew two. 2nd XI came out with 2 points per game, with 12 points from 6 games, winning three and drawing three. That is a total of 47 points, one less than the 1st half of the season where we took 48 points. The 1st XI played one more game, but took eight more points than in the 1st half of the season, possibly because they played lesser teams with more time between each game? Conversely the 2nd XI played one less game but took nine less points, as they didn't lose in the 1st half of the season . This could be because, in the 1st half they were playing the lesser teams, and got on a roll so morale was high, however in the 2nd half of the season they played games that I didn't really expect them to win (Liverpool in the Champions League for example,) which could have disrupted their flow and dented their morale.
  10. Week 34: Tuesday 7 July 2020 Crystal Palace v Chelsea 18:00 1-3 Watford v Norwich 18:00 2-1 Arsenal v Leicester 20:15 2-2 Wednesday 8 July 2020 Man City v Newcastle 18:00 3-0 Sheffield Utd v Wolves 18:00 1-1 West Ham v Burnley 18:00 1-1 Brighton v Liverpool 20:15 1-4 Thursday 9 July 2020 Bournemouth v Spurs 18:00 0-1 Everton v Southampton 18:00 1-1 Aston Villa v Man Utd 20:15 0-1
  11. Thanks very much Nobby, I'm spending a bit of time analysing all the data from the Premier League team stats, and my own player stats, mainly because I want to calm down after that tight finish so I'm hiding in the spreadsheets until I can find the nerve to start the next season!
  12. @WillHoward42 asked for a comparison with where I was compared to Sir Alex Ferguson's career. Below is the list of all the trophies he won, and my progress in each category so far. Challenge Progress: Year 5 Domestic Titles 1/13 Premier League Titles 1/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles 1/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles 0/10 English Community Shield European Titles 1/2 UEFA Champions League 0/1 UEFA Europa League 0/1 UEFA Super Cup 0/2 FIFA Club World Championship The challenge also has lists the following milestones: MilestonesWin the FA Cup within 4 seasons - Ferguson won his first cup, the FA Cup vs Crystal Palace in 89/90 Win the Premier League within 7 seasons - Ferguson won his first Premier League in 92/93 Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons - Ferguson won his first Double with United in 93-94 Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons - Ferguson's Treble Included His Third League/FA Cup Double Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons - Ferguson Won the Infamous Treble in 98/99 I won my 1st FA Cup in my 1st season, and my 1st Premier League this season my 5th season. Thus the next milestone is a League / FA Cup double within the next 3 years in order to continue to stay on track with the fixed objectives. I also have a total of 22 more years to haul in all the other trophies, which basically means I can not win the Premier League 10 years out of the next 22.
  13. Challenge Progress: Year 5 Domestic Titles 1/13 Premier League Titles 1/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles 1/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles 0/10 English Community Shield European Titles 1/2 UEFA Champions League 0/1 UEFA Europa League 0/1 UEFA Super Cup 0/2 FIFA Club World Championship One down, 12 more to go! though it took tanking most of the other competitions to sneak the league by a point on the final day, so not sure what magic we will have to conjure up to manage a double!
  14. May 2024 The morning after the night before. Maybe a few mornings after, we partied hard after winning the Premier League by a single point, for only the 2nd time in the clubs history. We have both external and internal awards to go through. Winning three from three isn't exactly the greatest achievement ever but I'll take it, not sure I've actually won many of these. Never ever won one of these before, so 1st one in 5 years, hopefully there might be more to come! Meret won the golden glove last year, though I am pretty sure he will be happy with his Premier League winners medal and 3rd place. 5 Players make the team of the year, interesting that Meret, although 3rd in the golden glove contest gets picked 1st in the team of the year. If the system goes on average rating, then the system is slightly biased in our favour, as all of our players played less games so their average will be calculated over a smaller number of fixtures. Now onto internal awards and records. Our defeat in our 1st game of the season is a new record. 1 upped himself from last year. Well deserved and beats a record set by someone who played in the same position as him. Interesting there is no Ampadu, or Verschaeren in that line up. Wonder how they came to their young player of the year award, as Naci Unuvar was our top scorer, however he also cost over 5x more than Nemanja. Never understand this one, Alvarez didn't make the supporters best XI for this year, but he's into the all time XI? Meret set back to back clean sheet season records, won the golden glove last year, 3rd place this year, and won a continental goalkeeper award, but Kasper Schmeichel keeps him on the bench? There is no place for Naci, which shocks me as he scored more in a single season than a number of players in that all time XI. Oh well. Also don't understand this one, I was at A- for a week when we went top of the league, but having won the league when you asked for Champions League qualification I thought that would be worth more than a B... While we are on a lack of understanding, we are Champions, and now you are going to settle for a 5th or 6th placed finish the year after, I'm not complaining mind! But seems odd. However at least they have seen sense on some upgrades, they said no to recruitment range improvements, but as the fat man from Fight Club says, two out of three ain't bad. In other news: Arsenal win the FA Cup, which will make the Community Shield the same tie as last years Super Cup (which we lost) However.... 4th place finish and a trophy was not enough for the bald headed wonder. Liverpool get the job done. While in the Europa League: I don't have a logo, and won't get one until I end up in the competition! Chelsea back door their way into the Champions League by winning the Europa League, resulting in another English clean sweep in Europe.
  15. Thanks for the response, fergie challenge attempt 1.fm is the name of the file I have just uploaded to the cloud
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