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optimusprimal82

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About optimusprimal82

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  1. Oops - thank you! Guess that’s what happens when playing late at night with so many screenshots lying around! I’ll fix when home later today, be a good excuse to fire the game up and blast through another month! Edit: actually looking at the table i see what i’ve done, that is the current table, but i’ve got the ‘away’ filter set as I was checking how many away games i’d won for the last update! As you can see, we are pretty terrible away from home - should maybe post the ‘home’ version to balance it out! What does everyone think of the home/away balance in 19 btw? Seen a few threads in GD suggesting it’s skewed too much towards home teams, not sure i have a concrete opinion either way - the difficulty for me to achieve an away win this season feels about right for example? EDIT #2: The table in the above post has been changed, it's got an additional game played from the Start of April, (unsurprisingly) a loss to West Ham!
  2. Some great progress Jimbo silverware getting ever closer - top for goals scored and second for least conceded is a very nice place to be in too! Incredible given the way PSG tend to throw cash around too, although they're obviously having struggles this year! Future looking very bright and a world away from the financial struggles of old - Good luck for the rest of the season!
  3. Great stuff! Unlucky in the playoffs but perhaps the new signings will be enough to push you that extra few steps even to automatic promotion (no pressure!) - squad looks nice and strong now CA wise in any case with more PA in the tank to come too!
  4. Smell that...? Yep, that's safety you can smell...! A disappointing result at home to Brighton (disappointing only in the sense that we were surprisingly the better team) was offset by a rare (just the second of the season) away victory at Southampton. With our form decidedly average & with the saints on top for the first 60 minutes, I made a tactical switch, moving to our old friend the 4141 for a bit and we were rewarded with a (deserved) penalty that swung the game completely towards us as our opponents walked straight into a counter attack whilst chasing the game. Despite using the 4141 for the majority of the save, you may recall I abandoned it early this season in favour of our more defensive 4231 to provide more cover at the back. I still think the switch overall has helped us, but perhaps with Southampton attacking us more expecting us to be sat back, they afforded us far (far) too much space which we were able to take full advantage of. If that was lucky, what happened in the United game was comical. United had taken an early lead but midway through the second half, the United left back played an awful back pass that - under pressure - the Goalkeeper mis-controlled straight to a grateful Shaquille Smith (24B). Despite the abundance of riches that United had on the field, they were unable to get a second goal, the result seeing Man City take over at the top of the table with just 6 games to play (painful even in a game!) That was it for March, only the three game, but a decent points return see's us move on to 35 points which means we're one win away from our pre-season safety target with six games to go! 16 points clear of the relegation spots (other teams have had a dreadful season!?), I think we can all start to breathe a little more easily, but let's hope we can make sure under our own steam in the coming month and pick up a few more points! Such a decent month results wise was reflected in the monthly awards with a certain Fraser Meaney (21A) picking up his first award in the Premier League with RB Owen Willis (22C) not far behind; Fraser has been 'solid but unspectacular' this year, largely down to the step up in class and our more defensive style of play, yet he's still chipped in with 6 goals, 3 assists (and 8 yellows, sigh) with an average rating of 6.89 - so he really was on form this month! Feeding frenzy... I touched on this a little in my youth intake analysis; Likely due to our terrible reputation, there's not a lot of interest from teams in terms of loaning our youngsters - due to this I decided to take the unusual (for me) step of asking for an affiliate club, the main purpose being to get my younger players with low CA/high PA plenty of game time to help them develop quicker. Unfortunately - again likely due to our low reputation - the teams suggested are all playing down in the non-league divisions which isn't ideal in terms of development. Given my affinity for FC United I selected them and I'll be doing my best to help them out in moving up the divisions by lending them players because... Well, why not? They're already on track to move up to the Vanarama National this season which will help us out too. They requested to take Charlie Lenehan (23K) on loan until the end of the season - keen to see how my players fared I allowed him to go out (he's in my first team squad but has only played 6 times this season so far) so it'll be interesting to see how he gets on!
  5. I want to say nice words or offer encouragement but am mindful that the last two times I've done that, the next time I've come to catch up you've been sacked so I'm going to keep my yapper shut and just leave quietly for once in the hope I don't jinx you (yet again)...!
  6. What in the blue heck...? As if my beloved real life team isn't going through enough drama off the pitch?! You may remember I posted about Man United sacking Thomas Tuchel a few posts back? Well that was on Wednesday 25th February (2026) in-game. Didn't really pay it much attention after that until my inbox (11th March in-game) just came up with; I'm not sure this can really be classed as a bug or more a logic loophole? Suspect maybe they appointed him and his approval was immediately so low because of being a (presumably) disliked person of the club/fans in-game? Stoopid but I guess crazier things have happened irl? Interestingly I have Man Utd next game... not sure right now if that's a good thing or bad (but im hoping we play them before they appoint their new guy) EDIT: They really are desperate, after trying Pep they're now turning to the Force;
  7. Youth Intake 2026 - Breakdown That's right, the new recruits have been put through their paces - or rather under the Excel microscope - and I've now pre-judged and pigeonholed them all accordingly aaaaaaand... They're ok? Joking aside, there's some wonderful potential here if my coaches are to be believed (and I've had a slight upgrade in judging stats this year although still no 20's sadly) but there's no-one that blows me away as being in 'wonderkid/ready to play now' territory. The top rated prospect Nathan Long is already rated at 2.5 stars CA, yes as mentioned the other day, he looks ok but not someone I'd be throwing mega-bucks at to keep (no doubt United, Real and Barca will be on the phone as soon as I post this!)? Whilst I'm pleased to see a decent rated GK in the group, his mercenary personality is a bit of a put-off but the biggest disappointment is the absence of a dominant DC, the one position we are fundamentally weak in (and only getting weaker with an ageing squad). With improved facilities I just want to leave these guys for 6-9 months and see if/how much they improve? I don't believe I can loan them until they're a little bit older (will have to check) but that may be an option - I've actually had an affiliate setup since my last post, however quite disappointingly the options given to me were all Vanarama National clubs (presumably due to my low rep), no offence to them, but I'd like these guys to be playing at a slightly higher standard if we're trying to get them to improve - I'd need to know 'under the hood' numbers I guess to know which would improve them more efficiently; poor quality premier league training facilities with a lot of decent coaches or abysmal facilities, with few poor coaches but first team football albeit at a much lower level? With our new Hoyd in charge, one pleasing thing immediately noticeable is the amount of 'green' in the professionalism column - note that I've simplified it in my spreadsheet with 'good' being any value equal/above 13 (which ties in with certain media handling styles). There's still far (far) too many unambitious guys there, but following a discussion that took place in another thread (think it was the full academy challenge thread?) we think that may now be something that's tied to youngsters in England (and no, not certain on that at all, just a theory based on the amount of people with decent HoyD's in English saves all being afflicted with unambitious youngsters) All of these youngsters are being retained in order to boost numbers for my new U23 team, but naturally given the drain on coaching resources I'll be running the rule over them frequently and releasing as I go - anyone less than 2 stars PA is already skating on thin ice!
  8. Thank you - I completely understand what you're saying, no worries and honestly I don't disagree, in fact I posted several times about my disappointment a few pages back. One of my favourite parts of the game is being challenged and I don't think it's really all that surprising that my favourite two seasons so far in the save have been our first year in league two (when we finished down in 18th (i think it was?) and this season when - although the results suggest otherwise - we're really struggling in games. I think this years game has definitely got the balance between tactical effectiveness and player attributes much closer than they maybe have in previous years, but leaving the Premier League aside for a second, some of the promotions we've had when being comparatively much weaker are a bit of a nonsense. I don't believe you always need the strongest team - technical ability isn't all you need (just ask Barcelona after this week!) - but i think it's clear from quite a lot of the saves you can read about - this one of mine and my previous one (which i didn't record here - that it's still possibly too... easy (? not sure if that's the right word?) to overachieve...? But then if we took away all the lucky breaks i've had in this save would we be where we are? Almost certainly not, but that still doesn't change the base problem you mention which is that i'm effectively surviving in the Premier League with a League Two/One level side? Threads such as this also help highlight some of the ME/mentality struggles this year - in that example it's when playing against poor teams when you're a world beater, but it's also an issue the other way round with many a team coming to play against me in this save with way (way) too attacking a lineup, leaving a ton of space to be exploited? Attributes obviously do play a big part in performance - someone like Fraser Meaney (21A) was tearing the leagues a new one in his first few years, but as his attributes became less spectacular and comparatively average he rarely gets a mention in the match/end of month awards - just perhaps the balance is still not quite there...? Other problem is that for every person who finds the game easy/unrealistic, there are plenty who find it too difficult - I've spent an awful lot of time helping people out on a Discord channel i'm part of this year for example and I doubt many of them consider it easy? That's the problem with a game catering to such a diverse fanbase I guess - for tactical nerds such as me, the dream end goal is an AI learning opponent that you have to pit your wits against, but that would likely frustrate some of the other guys I know who just want to download a tactic and take their favourite team to glory each year? Seen a suggestion that difficulty levels could increase/decrease the effectiveness of attributes and someone from SI would have to decide how effective that would be as we don't know how effective they are to begin with - it's a delicate balancing act for sure and one a) I'm glad I'm not responsible for and b) that must be incredibly difficult to get 'right' when 'right' is often subjective? The final thing I've been considering this season is whether I stop 'playing' matches... The 'mentality masterplan' stuff I worked on had me studying the match engine for so long that it feels almost like second nature when to change/adapt & potentially like I have an unfair advantage at times which is admittedly a bit silly when considering the opponent can change things at any time too (and can often do so with unerring precision - watch the AI teams in cup games during the last 10 minutes of a game with their formation window open - doesn't happen all the time but there have been teams that change their formation every time the ball goes out of play which is hilarious to watch). I have considered swapping to the 'instant result' method I know a few here prefer as it'd prevent me from rescuing my guys in certain games from disaster (like spotting we're playing too offensively, or seeing a chance to go attacking against a team that have dropped too deep), but my thoughts on that have always been am I even playing the game then if I'm not able to do transfers or play the matches? I agree at this point it would be interesting to see how much of a difference it makes, as I wouldn't be able to start on cautious and move through the 'mentality gears/my equivalent tactical variants as I do' (I know the match plans are a thing, but they're far too primitive to be truly effective yet imo) but maybe it's yield more realistic results - by all means if people would prefer me to go down that route then speak up and I can try it - I'd just need to assess whether it killed my enjoyment then or not (would your average FPS player like their game if it became a text-based adventure for example?)
  9. Youth Intake 2026 The intake seems to be getting later every year - have to write this quickly because it's late here now (Australia!) but couldn't go to bed before seeing who we got in this year! Something that will come as a complete surprise to nobody is that our HoyD thinks we could have the makings of a 'golden generation'...! Now where have I heard that before? To be fair, based purely on the squad screen stars he may well have a point as overall it's by far and away the most impressive we've had at first glance (bear in mind our facilities are also at the best they've ever been too!) - as previous years have taught us though, it doesn't always turn out to be the case once we've looked at them in more detail - the personalities already suggesting there's work to be done/improvements to be made! I'll do the more 'in-depth' look tomorrow, but for now my first thoughts are that there are some strange positional combinations on a few of the guys but that's not a huge issue - just have to work out their best one/role/duty and train accordingly. A 4-5 star goalkeeper makes me smile, although his personality does not, and the 2 DC's in the group are - at least at first glance - very average (although Shulberg is only 15, tall and has a decent personality). The HoyD singled out Nathan Long so let's take a look at him as the suppose star of the group; Certainly not terrible in terms of raw stats, but his relatively high CA (2.5) has me a little worried that maybe he may not improve all that much (coaches say he will)? I'll certainly keep him (he looks nice and quick if nothing else at this point) but wondering if there might not be a better position for him than out wide - will have to have a think as nothing else stands out either right now.
  10. Note to self... With my beloved club (Man United for those not in the know) in turmoil in the real world, I could be forgiven for exorcising some demons by considering a stint at the helm should they come calling post challenge - need to remember that it may not quite be the place I know and love judging by recent shenanigans... You may recall I spotted that Mr Carlo Ancelotti had been fired late last season following 5 premier league & 4 Champions league titles (in just six years!)? Well fast forward some 278 days and they've again dispensed with the manger, this time Mr Tuchel , his departure "is thought to have been triggered by the clubs poor league position". Riiiiight... We actually play United very soon and I'm hoping against all hope that Simeone doesn't get the job - his strange & direct 442 is - for me at least - one of the most difficult tactics I've faced on this years game and if he's got top level players it's incredibly tough to get on top of (he took over United in my last save strangely enough, beating me to the title one year on goal difference! Regardless, if my team come a calling later in the save, someone remind me to tell them I'm not in/to leave a message... NB: They also got to the final of the Carabo cup, the fourth round of the FA Cup (eliminated by Arsenal) and are still in the Champions league. Odd.
  11. A wasted opportunity... A very quick month with just the three games in it after our trip to Southampton was moved for TV (had so many games rescheduled this season - seems the camera loves us!). An incredibly disappointing performance was followed up with an absolute robbery at our own ground; when I 'FM' another team I usually chuckle to myself, imagining how angry I'd be if the situation had been reversed, on this occasion though I actually wanted to apologise to the Arsenal manager (somebody named Zidane?) given that our equaliser was our only shot on target (and only our second shot in total) of the entire game (compared to 6/17 for them). In the end though it's tough, we're awful and they should be able to beat us - plus we need the points more than they do. Kind of. Sadly we weren't able to capitalise on that bonus point as we played a Leicester side that on paper are facing relegation but who on the pitch thought they were playing for the title - I was both surprised and caught out by just how aggressively they played (in what was something of a relegation six pointer) and whilst the good news is that we managed to grab an equaliser, overall our opponent was the stronger team and we didn't deserve much more! We're still in a great position, but winning this game would have been a great step towards safety! Shaquille Smith (24B) has been in great form again this month, getting 2 of our 3 goals, taking him to 14 for the season - it's great to have a striker that can score goals (finally), be interesting to see just how far he can take us! Youth intake day is imminent (It's possible the rearranged Southampton game - another important relegation battle - could come first though!) so I have pretty much everything crossed! Whilst the excited kid in me would love a wonder-striker/winger, the realist in me is desperate for a solid central defender or defensive midfielder. A goalkeeper - whilst boring - would be ultra useful too.
  12. Ha, I've created monsters - received both a text message and a private message letting me know I forgot to include a pic of the league table and the relegation countdown! All jokes aside, I'm super happy/pleased/glad that people are enjoying the journey, have read some great threads here over the years and it was pretty daunting starting this at first, naturally the kind words/support have helped enormously! Here's the league table correct as of the end of January - a lovely 14 point gap to the relegation spots - surely we can't mess it up from there (believe I've uttered that line before in this save!!); So that means that; Yep, we're very close to 'official safety' now but as I said above, I'd be incredibly surprised if we were dragged into the scrap now? As a bonus for this unexpected update let's do a little 'Meaney-watch'... Our best player for the majority of the save, you might have spotted his name doesn't get banded around anywhere near as much nowadays and it's likely for the reason you expect - when he started with us he was a class above, now he's a class (or two) below our opponent generally. He's still one of our better performers - one of my favourite things about him is his consistency, so rare is it that he has a bad game - but he doesn't run the show/steal the headlines like he used to. This is him as of today; Certainly not a bad player by any stretch - he continues to be one of our better ones; good physical stats, just limited technically for this level really with questionable work rate and teamwork for a team fighting relegation. He's been immense for us though let's cut him some slack - even at this level he's had a reasonable year with 5 goals and 3 assists (He's still only 20 remember too!); The fans love him a teeny bit more than me too so who am I to judge? Will hopefully get more time tonight to bash through February - then it (should be) intake time!!
  13. Yeah I'm never sure why the staff in-game seem so quick to suggest the extremely defensive mentalities - you can score goals on cautious/balance and still keep things pretty tight. I'll admit I'm having a harder time than normal this season but then my players are rubbish for this division - but with my all conquering side recently I'd often score the first on attacking and the rest on balanced/cautious as the other team would attack and get picked off repeatedly - a pattern it seems you've found/been using to your advantage! I asked in GD about the height earlier in this save actually as I was having a similar issue as you with both DC's & STC's. One intake solved the DC problem (I now have 3 x 190+ cm monsters) but my tallest striker is still only 181cm. (I do have a reserve STC that's 190 but he just doesn't seem to want to develop at all. Aside from the contract issues I moan about above, we managed to survive the transfer window intact!
  14. One for the road... I mentioned in my last post how we'd yet to win a game on the road this season and thankfully that was something we finally put to bed with us coming away from Turd Moor 3 points the richer. Have to admit I was delighted to get those points on the board/that monkey off our back as although we have a lot of home games left this season in the league (we had 9 at the time of that game), there were only really 4 I gave us any real chance in, with the others being against teams like City/United - our league position is built on home wins this year so far so with that at risk I considered a 3 points earned away, as was the 3 points we somehow stole - and I use that word very deliberately - from Chelsea (the first time we've beaten one of the 'top 6' in this save) If the Burnley result was fortuitous (and with us having just 36% possession that's certainly one way of describing it), the game against Chelsea was staggering; With match stats like that I'd have been ok with a 3-0 loss, let alone a 2-1 win and it was one of those 'pure FM' games where you can't quite explain how it happened...? Keenan Quansah - a natural DC who's spent most of his Hyde career playing in DMC (and is a former winner of the prestigious 'managers player of the year award') - received the ball (unmarked) back on the edge of the area and 'Kompany'd' it in at the near post (ok, it wasn't quite that important or spectacular, but it was on his left peg from the edge of the box) which i've never seen him do in all the seasons i've been here!? Fast forward 50 minutes and the game was pretty much in the balance before that man Quansah (again) utilised every ounce of his '5' for passing to launch a sumptuous long ball over the Chelsea backline that landed at the feet of a grateful Shaquille Smith (24B) who did the rest, sending us 2-0 up and into fantasy land! Now bearing in mind chelseas lineup (see below) this was an impossible scoreline so I prepared for the inevitable onslaught and a few minutes later it started - Chelsea going gung-ho in search of a lifeline. Changing down the gears to 'repel' mode we couldn't completely hold out, but we did enough to record what is our probably our best result of the save so far (needless to say, Quansah got the PoM award!)! Some of the Chelsea side are (stupidly good) newgens, but I think there are enough names in the XI that you can see what we were up against - what a forward line! And here's Quansah - a player that was at the team when I took over that we've done well to hold on to - he was our best player for a few years and he still plays regularly now despite my coaches constantly referring to him as a 'backup player'; Note the traits? Might have to get rid of the 'avoids using weaker foot' one if he has that in his locker! Sadly that was to be the end of the miracles for the month, with us drawing Liverpool in the FA cup and City to play it went as you'd expect, a narrow away defeat to Watford really about as much as we deserved too; IT's be dangerous to think 'mission accomplished just yet, but with us now on 28 points and Burnley (in 18th) on 14, it seems likely that we've done enough - is it reasonable to expect Burnley to double their points total in the remaining 14 games? Possible yes, likely...? Well, I guess stranger things have happened? Regardless, I know 38 points is our target but I reckon another win - two at the most - will be enough to see us safe (oh how I hope that doesn't come back to bite!) Just how bad are we...? Off the field, some more strange things cropping up in the media; we were drawn at home to Millwall in the FA cup yet they were touted as heavy favourites in the lead up to the game? They're having a decent season being high in the Championship but that still seems a little odd (but reflects how much emphasis the game seems to place on reputation?); At least we shut him up anyway. Happiness is a new contract. Apparently. Given the salary discrepancies in my side I totally understand why some of my guys want new deals, but - as I've mentioned before - I'm getting tired of the constant bickering when they all insist on asking for stupidly low clauses and refusing to negotiate - it's making players really unhappy because they don't get new deals, but in the example of Shaquille Smith, he's scored 12 goals this year, is now worth £300k in-game yet his agent won't budge (locked red padlock in every negotiation) from a £1 million minimum fee clause. With Everton, Norwich & Newcastle all interested in him - and did I mention he's English and we have the annoying foreign limit Brexit? - giving him that contract would be signing off on selling him for way below his value which is a nonsense. He only has 12 months left on his deal which will eventually force my hand, but i'm hoping that if we stay up, the increase in reputation might at least push the values they insist on up a little. In the meantime he's stuck on £130 per week, whilst John Jeffs (23D) - our current top earner - pockets £16k p/w, but i've got no way of pointing that out to the player which seems really stupid, but I digress. In other news, I noticed that we seem to have had a lot more injuries this year, a surprising amount in the ~5 week area too, on the back of that I realised it had been a long time since I'd checked out our medical staff with us still employing our starting physio - needless to say, one shakeup later and I hope we see some reductions (improvement in training facilities hopefully helping there too). On the subject of training facilities, the board agreed to upgrade them and the youth facilities again at a combined expense of £2.7 million. My hope is that rather than doing it one level at a time, they pay a bit more and we can jump a few levels - would teams really incrementally improve them like this irl? Surely much less cost effective, especially when you've got £60 million sat in the bank doing jack like we have? Another tricky month ahead with Leicester at home our likely best chance of points, we did draw 2-2 in the away fixture so that gives me some hope, otherwise we may be relying on our ridiculous luck once again. Only 1 month to go now until the youth intake - a friend asked why I get quite so excited and I told him that it determines how the rest of the save goes really - with a rubbish intake, next season/probably the one after will be more of the same as this, but with a decent one we can push on a little and maybe hold our own? Considering that the one day is like our entire transfer window I literally cannot wait to see who we get in, so much so please accept this advance apology for the inevitable downbeat post following the draft - there's no way they're going to be as good as I've built them up to be in my head, heck, I can't even decide if I'd prefer 5 good players or 2 superstars (current thinking is 5 good players would be better with superstars next year - but let's be honest, I may just get 3 johnny averages - there are absolutely no guarantees and we are competing with City/United for youth players!) As a reward for his performances/(winner against Chelsea), Shaq received the young player of the month with young full back Owen Willis (20C) finishing third; Willis has been around so long/many season now that in my head he's about 25, but because of how early I've been having to play these kids in order to improve my side I was shocked to see he's still only 20, yet has made close to 150 appearances for the first team!
  15. Finally, a little bit of cheer - it is Christmas after all!? A miserable, MISERABLE start to December saw our poor run of form continue and enabled us to set a new record for games without winning - I was worried the mail would add pressure and make my guys nervous, but they held it together & and lost like heroes, even adding a cherry to the top of the cake with an extra defeat just to stretch it a little further! We did manage to get a win - having lost to Norwich the home game against Reading was another I'd pencilled in as a good chance to get some solid points on the board and so it proved with a comfortable-ish win - largely thanks to the returning Shaquille Smith (24B) who'd been out for several weeks through injury - he's now up to 6 goals in 12 appearances this season which ok, isn't the best return ever, but for this save is extremely incredible (although Bob Reed - 25A is on 5 in 8 which you could argue is even more impressive!?)! His goals saw him included in Team of the week alongside some other goalscorer you may have heard of? I wonder if he fancies a move to Hyde? Would be nice to play the two together!? Frustratingly, following the Reading game we had a tricky looking trip to Spurs which went slightly better than I expected, especially as I chose to field an entire second string given we were playing Newcastle just 2 days later at home in a game I thought we had a chance of points in (they were just two positions above us at the time). The reserves did well but sadly the gulf in class was too stark & the scoreline finished respectable but predictable. 7 points from 18 isn't the greatest return, but it's taken us past the halfway point in the season and we're comfortably halfway to our target so there's few complaints from me! We've got a big month ahead now with our only home fixtures being in the FA cup or against Chelsea/Man City so our chances of getting any points are greatly diminished - best we can likely hope for is a few score draws? Our away form is abysmal and we're yet to win a game on the road so I think suggesting anything better than that is the talk of a mad man! It's especially interesting looking at the for/against column in the table - I'm having to play slightly more attacking than I'd like in games to get us on the scoresheet (and yes it's backfiring on occasion I'm sure), the side effect being we've conceded a lot more than our relegation counterparts. The tradeoff is that we've also scored a lot more than them too, (double Wednesday/Burnley, almost the same with Reading) which leads me to feel vindicated in taking what could easily be considered a reckless approach. Now whilst I like attacking football I'm also a huge fan of a clean sheet so this trade-off sadly won't be something I can tolerate forever, but whilst we're effectively fielding a 'Dog & Duck XI' I'll take whatever I can get! Speaking of getting, lovely lovely cash continues to pour in - this was actually from the end of November (I haven't seen/must have missed the December one, but we now have over £50 million sat in the bank doing very little - I'm hoping it will be used as a 'mega stadium' fund in the next few seasons but that's a long way away, especially when you consider our temporary stadium this year has a capacity of just 28,723 and we a) haven't sold it out once & b) have an average attendance so far of (just) 14,183. Fixtures for next month (ouch - at least the FA cup game is at home?); EDIT: Apologies, forgot to mention that my cynicism last intake day over Tommy Holmes (25C) was completely put to bed in the Newcastle game as he scored a hat trick from MR - sure it's happened before in my FM career but it's not a frequent occurrence...? AMR/AML? Sure, but not so from the more reserved wing positions! To make matters even better, his wing partner from the left (Luke Madden - 23L) finished 3rd! Tommy is having a decent season with a rating of 6.99 from 18 games, helped by him having scored 7 goals in all competitions! No assists as yet, but there's time yet (and we are struggling a little as a team so I can forgive that for now, especially from a 16 year old!). The hat-trick was enough to see him pick up the young player of the month award which again - at 16 - is pretty incredible (and shows how pushed for quality we are! The bad news is that the January window has just opened and Watford and West Brom are both sniffing around him again - I've a few players who've got admiring glances in their direction right now, Bob Reed (25A), Shaquille Smith (24B) & Luke Fisher (25D) being the most notable;
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