deltablue

Moderators
  • Content count

    14,521
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About deltablue

  • Rank
    Moderator

Biography

  • Biography
    Fairly intensive FM player and long-term career manager. Love Rome.

About Me

  • About Me
    FMCU Boss

Interests

  • Interests
    FM, railways, football, History

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Ipswich

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Bucaspor
  1. Excellent, a Kentish team!
  2. I loaded up the game this morning and only noticed for the first time that we were just 2 points off second! I guess that reflects on how much the first-half of both seasons in the Premier Division so far had me focused on looking down, or only a short distance up at best. It also demonstrates how tight the league is between a lot of teams. I do wonder what we could do with a more consistent season, if the general situation doesn't change too much with how potential rivals do. As for the players, I had to do a lot of budgetary juggling and clearing space however I could to get them both, especially Leonardo Robert. In fact my reaction so seeing him for the first time was actually 'I must have him!!!!!!!!' He hasn't actually been that good so far but I'm sure he'll prove to be a worthwhile investment, especially as like with Moradi, I was able to take a relatively low release clause out of his contract without too much difficulty. The trouble is that it's hard to get in more players like that. I still have some room in the foreign player limit but it's not easy having more than the 5 allowed in a match squad, and certainly not more than 6. It doesn't help that out of the current 5 (Pavez having gone, which I'll touch on in the pre-season update), Dunguinha is the only one even remotely expendable from the first team. Elyounoussi is the keeper with no viable alternatives, Kevric didn't quite match the heights of last season but he's still playing far too well on a (mostly) consistent basis for dropping him to be even a remotely sane option, Leonardo Robert just needs to keep getting opportunities and Moradi's form has already made him our key forward (which is a relief given Unver's injury issues). At least the presence of Erdem (who is still just 20) provides a strong Turkish alternative, which I could use a few more of. I think I need to try and strengthen the Turkish presence as we've still got a few weaker links, especially in terms of depth, though I won't stop going for other players (even up to the limit of 8 which we had in the first half of last season) if they're that good and I guess I can work things out after that.
  3. Still got no idea how!
  4. Season Review 2023/24 Ok, so that happened! I was getting an odd sensation earlier that we were both overachieving and underachieving at the same time. This comes from having two seasons where we've struggled early on before form picked up a lot more later and we ended up finishing higher than I expected to. We don't seem to spend much time in our expected mid-table habitat, first struggling below it then flying through and past it. Sneaking a top-half finish at the death last season was surprising enough but this really seemed to come out of left-field, especially as we started the season with much worse form than last time and the danger of relegation in the short-term was still on my mind. As I mentioned, the idea that we might challenge for the European places only briefly occurred during strong runs of spring form, even in the last update I thought we were surprisingly high where we were. As it was we managed it very narrowly and needed other factors to swing in our favour at the end, which probably adds to the impression that we're not that good yet, even though the league table tells me otherwise, which is just confusing! I'm still not getting too carried away, not expecting a repeat (or even getting close) next year and only anticipating a short European run. Still it's always something to celebrate. I had been thinking earlier that while it had been a successful career so far, I haven't won a major trophy yet or managed European qualification yet, and didn't expect either to happen for a while, especially as I was focusing on Bucaspor for a while. This is definitely one of those moments when it the excitement and glory of the occasion doesn't really have as much of an impact because you're too dazed with the shock of it all. Star Player: Joint winners this time... Kireker: As you might have gathered, I've been very excited about him for a while. Throwing a 17yr old into the first team after promotion may seem odd but I do have previous, and a strong and consistent first season was followed by an even better second year. It's great to see him already this good so early. Moradi: I'm loving a more global game world, Moradi not only being my first ever Iranian signing (I think) but my first from an Iranian club, with many others from the region on my radar. A bad debut looked to cost him badly with the competition for the limited foreign match squad opportunities, and a better second cameo was followed by leave. However he was back in near the end of 2023 and he hasn't really looked back since. We were struggling for goals for a long time this season but he did a lot to turn that situation around, especially when partnered Alici. Squad Stats
  5. May 2024 I prepared myself for an uneventful and unimpressive end of the season. How wrong I was. Going behind at the start against Bursaspor didn't really register, especially as it was looking like one of those performances where it didn't look like we'd get anything. That changed with Demrici's equalizer, with Moradi and Alici's goals either side of half-time turning the tables. Trabzonspor was a surprising 2-0 win, especially as it took an ages to make a breakthrough, and Erdem's opener was as scrappy as they come. Orduspor were easily dispatched early on with 3 goals in 20 minutes before we sat back and nearly let them come back for a point. We were actually above Galatasaray but that didn't last long. Fenerbahce easily beat us though the winning margin had more to do with how anonymous we were as they were nowhere near that fantastic. Form seemed to have nosedived again as we lost two games against Kasimpasa and Gazientepspor that we might have been expected to get quite a bit from. There were a few potential reasons for this. Kireker sustained a season-ending injury against Trabzonspor while injuries/suspensions were taking it's toll on a small squad where we couldn't even select everyone who was available if all the foreigners were alright. Often we've been a man short on the sub's bench this season, only managing 4 at on point little later on. A team talk seemed like a timely kick up the backside as we returned to winning ways against Eskisehirspor, Moradi (more on him later) enjoying a brace. I really didn't expect the run to continue against Galatasaray, especially after we went behind. Again it looked like one of those 'we've lost it already' matches, especially as they won a penalty but Elyounoussi saved and Moradi equalized immediately afterwards. That was enough of a surprise but then the Iranian set up Alici and we held on to it. Istanbul BBSK was a tricky game before two easy ones too finish but again Moradi and Alici turned a game around after going behind. Mersin i.Y. seemed rather tough for a side already doomed to relegation. Kevric gave us the lead (which is actually his first goal for the club) but Granados quickly equalized for them and they threatened to go ahead before Alici finished them off. The 'E' word hasn't featured so far. I was aware that we were closing in on the European places in March but with those three defeats I felt that any chance we had of catching up was gone. The cup final between Orduspor and Galatasaray seemed to be a nail in the coffin as with the latter (who won) were outside the European spots at the time, meaning we'd probably have to finish 4th rather than 5th to do it, a far less likely proposition the way the table was set at the time, with just 3 matches left we were just a couple of points adrift of Trabzonspor in 5th but 4-5 of Altay in 4th. We played the bottom 2 at home in the final couple matches but Istanbul BBSK before that (though we managed to pull off a win). That changed considerably in the penultimate round when Galatasaray hammered Altay. That meant 5th place was back in play as a European spot if Galatasaray held on to a Europa league placing (Orduspor would only qualify as cup runners up if Galatasaray got a CL place, which wasn't going to happen) and left us just a point behind Altay. If we won our final match (which we were expected to) and they failed to win at Istanbul BBSK (perfectly likely) then we'd get in. It was edgy for a while but Yurtseven gave us the lead with one of those long-range efforts from wide which you're never sure of the intent of, which seemed appropriate from the player who gave us promotion. Demrici was an unlikely candidate to give us the second goal we needed to start to relax and Altay did their bit...
  6. Yep it was. Here it is...
  7. Feb 2024 I played on until the winter break last time but a bit of a gap, partly due to a cold (since I don't often feel like playing if I'm not clear-headed, though that didn't stop me today) and partly due to the release of the new pokemon games. I have no idea why people were being so mean about Popplio's design, I think it's both awesome and adorable! Anyway back to FM matters, nothing is expected of matches against the big teams, especially away, and we were comfortably beaten by Galatasaray. However we then had an opportunity to improve our situation considerably with a few matches against teams around us before the mid-season break started and we very much took it. A Moradi goal wasn't enough to beat Istanbul BBSK but we managed to sneak wins against Mersin I.Y. and 1461 Trabzon, building up a far more comfortable safety margin both in terms of points and teams. It was a bit strange picking up again with a trip to Altay and it looked good when Capa gave us the lead. Unfortunately it was a bit of a sub-par performance, not helped by our main forwards being out (Unver was injured, Moradi suspended) and a defeat meant the points gap shrunk again to 3. We bounced back in style against Adana D.S. though it was touch and go for a while. Moradi gave us a lead which didn't last long but Leonardo Robert scrambled it in during a real goalmouth mess (otherwise having disappointed so far) right before half-time. That allowed us to push on with Kireker and Moradi giving us a 4-1 win that was a little flattering. It was good seeing Moradi do a lot better after a start that saw him dropped after a poor debut (with the foreign player rules and restriction providing encouragement to use one of the 5 matchday squad slots on someone else, especially as he was only a borderline choice in the first place) then need leave time, before getting another opportunity. His initial contract had come with a pretty low release clause which I had always planned to do something about before too long and the Adana D.S. win was a good reminded to do just that, I had anticipated having a difficult time with taking out or at least raising the clause considerably so it was a nice surprise to see that he didn't want one at all. Hopefully I can do something similar with Leonardo Robert. We surprisingly won 3 out of 3 against Besiktas but that run was always going to end now, and pretty heavily. It wasn't to much of an issue as own-goal gave us a deserved win against Caykur Rizespor, before an Alici super-sub brace meant we pulled off a shock 2-0 win away to table-topping Genclerbirligi. We hoped to keep things going against Akhisar Bld, especially as they were the 16th placed side so I was still thinking about the gap to the bottom 3. We went behind and they looked more likely to score again after Moradi's equalizer. We then took the lead which put us on course to climb to the heady heights of 7th but we couldn't quite keep it an were lucky to hold on to a point in the end. However it still kept us in a good position. Our situation has improved considerably in the past few months, and the rest of the season looks set to be pretty uneventful, a similar pattern to last season really aside from the contrasts in the way we started. Being much higher than this would be a surprise as we seem to very much be a middling side, with equal wins and defeats and almost as many draws, as well as pretty low and very similar goals scored and conceded columns, the third lowest in each case. As Box2Box pointed out before, we don't seem to lose by more than one goal. Even with the Galatasaray and Besiktas defeats, it's only happened 4 times in almost 16 months. I wouldn't go so far as to say that makes us competitive against most teams but we at least haven't been outclassed at this level.
  8. I hope Mings has been doing well.
  9. Fantastic stuff this season.
  10. Looking very good so far.
  11. I got a rather meta one on my social media feed after an Ipswich win which was along the line is of "Great win, now I can't wait to get back to my FM save!"