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About deltablue

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

About Me

  • About Me
    FMCU Boss

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Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
  1. First FM Team

    England. Siracusa being the first club.
  2. Congratulations. I am still getting used to my niece is who is a month old tomorrow
  3. [FM15] Dexter To The Rescue (Retake)

    Is it possible for you to be 'guest manager' tomorrow?
  4. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Summer 2049 As I hoped, I got a budgetary boost that gave a wage budget of 30kpw, double what it was 2 years ago in the BSP, though adjustments made it 28kpw in the end. After the first readjustment (helped by knowing I as about to lose quite a bit off the wage bill with players being released) the transfer budget was over 200k, though that didn't go very far at all. I got most of what I needed done at the start with players who I could get for nothing, which was just as well, including finally releasing backup keeper Webster from captivity, and getting in a new full-back (though he wasn't released at the end of his contract so I needed to pay a compensation fee after all) to help replace the liabilities of Fatai and Buxton. Charlton (who still proved useful last season even though I didn't want him around any more) was a decent weight off the wage bill as well. The main improvement was up front when having released and replaced Gallagher (though I very nearly gave him a new contract with his form late last season) I realized I could do a lot better than Mansfield as well so brought in another to boot him out entirely and give me a far stronger pair of poacher options. The one problem that remained was central midfield. I had admittedly made a mistake when withdrawing a contract offer for a young player about to leave Tranmere (and who wouldn't have needed a compensation fee, for some reason) on the basis that while he otherwise looked fantastic, his physical attributes were poor, maybe not taking into account either his age or the fact that I couldn't be as choosy as I realized. Having managed last year on frees and a few 5-figure fees, I thought I could do the same again but anyone I wanted (in any position) would have been a few hundred thousand at least, and they weren't very open to loans either. On finding someone I might be able to afford if I really stretched things saw he could come for a loan and saved my money with just 1.5k a month rather than almost 300k (which I may not have managed to do). However despite being a few years older his physicals weren't really much better than the guy I rejected earlier (who would also have been a permanant signing) so with hindsight I got that wrong. There were still a bit more to be done after that. I had been content to have 3 full backs and Turner/Allison capable of filling in either side but that would have been a mistake so I decided to go for a young Scot who could play both sides even though it meant splashing out 160k. Wanting to rely on McEntee as little as possible and Keane getting injured just after I made the bid (missing the first couple of weeks of the season) made that a good move even if it was an expensive one. Instead of finishing there, I noticed this morning that we had the spare wage budget for an extra player (even though that meant not being finished in time for the opening match after all) and went for another defender. The DoF was also pursuing a central midfielder on loan from QPR (with no wage cost to us) who would have been excellent but he chose Macclesfield instead for some bizarre reason. Again we looked a little (but not massively) stronger, with a better squad as a whole. There are still a couple of players left like McEntee and Turner (who both started well before becoming disappointing) who have the potential to mess up too many times but it's still a step forward. The Ass Man actually claimed we would win the league in the press conference before the first match. That was at home to Accrington who also made the playoffs last season so a 2-0 win was a decent gesture of intent that we were at least capable of challenging again, and that we might not be relying on a single goal as much as last season. Also promising was that the Scottish forward Thompson (not to be confused with our English defender) scored a great goal and set up the other, potentially being the star we were lacking last year, though at 33 it wouldn't be for very long unfortunately. Signings
  5. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Gold Cup 2049 Mexico don't need their first team to win these days Canada were runners up for the 7th time without a single victory (aside from 2000 in real life) as well as some semi-final defeats. Will they ever win? On current form... no, as they are bottom of the hex with no points and are ranked 104th.
  6. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    AFCON 2049 - Algeria Reigning champions Ghana surprisingly went out in the group stage, as did host Algeria in a bit of a 'group of death'. The previously dominant Ivorians (who were beaten finalists last time around) went on to win this time, beating surprise finalists Togo. That marked the first time they had ever progressed beyond the quarter-finals and they were nearly always knocked out in the first round. They haven't made the World Cup since their real life appearance in 2006. Mali (who have made a World Cup in-game) were the other surprise team, making a rare appearance in the latter stages after topping a tough group and knocking out Cameroon.
  7. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Hopefully, but it won't be easy as we have a few weaknesses. The first is how we've been so reliant on one or (occasionally) two goals being enough and our defence doing the rest. Even when we were getting promoted from the BSP many other teams (including relegated sides) had a top scorer far ahead of any of our guys, and the gap was insane last season. At the end of November no one had more than 3 goals. It was 5 a month later and only near the end of the season with Byrne and Gallagher hitting form did anyone reach double figures. Having our goals spread out rather than relying on one or two players isn't necessarily a bad thing, but coupled with no one reaching an average rating of 7.20 it points to not having anyone good enough on a consistent basis to make the difference on a regular basis and help drive a promotion push. We will still have an unsettled squad after a summer with 8 new signings (and room for the DoF to find a 9th somewhere) and where affordable reinforcements were harder to find than I thought, leading to a few instances where we just had to make do. I'll update on that tomorrow, along with the Gold Cup and a very late AFCON update.
  8. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Playoff Final Right that was a disaster, our worst performance of the season in the most important game. I wouldn't have minded an exciting defeat (like I wouldn't have from that second leg against Notts County) but this was just depressing from start to finish. Their top two forwards had scored 50 goals between them in the league this season, almost as many as our entire team combined, however after a season where we owed our strong results mainly to the defence than the attack, we made it far too easy for them. The first goal came from a ball floated in and smashed home, but the second was a sign of things to come as Davidson tried to head the ball behind only for Leicester's star forward to get to it first and dribble past Pead. We had only had the occasional sniff on goal so it already looked like it was beyond us before they hammered the final nails in our promotion dream this season. Pead and a few other defenders were committed to trying to stop a player coming in from the left so the goal was exposed when he played the ball to his teammate, then the keeper went out to try and grab the ball and fumbled it (and he was right on the edge of his area so he couldn't have held on to it anyway if his momentum had taken him much further). Gibbons should really dedicate his hat-trick to Pead for making it so easy for him. They only had 8 shot all match (only slightly more than we did) which exposes a woeful defensive performance from everyone. We did at least claim a consolation when McEntee played in a free-kick which was headed in by Coughlan, closing our season with a goal almost identical to the one we opened it with. There still a lot to be positive about under the circumstances, not just the fact that we came within a whisker of a second straight promotion (despite a lot of new signings and the fact that a few players turned out to be disasters waiting to happen) but also our recovery from being 15th in December. It was a far better season than I thought we'd manage, and the playoff matches alone gave us a decent financial boost with gate recepts of just over 780k being almost exactly a quarter of our total for the season. We'll need to make a few more changes to the squad just to replace players being let go, so we won't have as big a 'second season boost' from a more settled side than I hoped we'd have, but if we have a more consistent season (or at least do better than a single win over 2 busy months) we should hopefully be in the promotion mix again, with League 1 football looking like it might return to Priestfield sooner rather than later. Squad Stats
  9. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Playoff Semi-final Now there was a tie of two halves. The first leg seemed to be going better than the league match if only on the basis that we actually had a chance in the first 10 minutes instead of having to wait for over an hour, and with little else happening instead of facing a wave of pressure. The second was only marginally better but unfortunately saw them take the lead in the tie with a goal after a mazy run that would have made van den Hoogenband proud, and they nearly got another. We really had to wake up in front of a capacity crowd at Priestfield and make it 3rd time lucky against our opponents, and we got off to a good start when Coughlan played the ball to Gallagher, who knocked it in off the Notts County keeper. Unfortunately it didn't last as they slipped an equalizer past Pead at a narrow angle. Thankfully the isn't an away goals rule so if we got another it would be enough to at least give us extra-time, not an away goals defeat. The momentum of the match was definitely on our side, though there were always close calls at the other end. Special mention has to go to the guy who hit the post, then did it again with the second chance he got on the rebound! We got the second goal we needed at the least when a Coughlan cross from a very narrow angle met Byrne's head, the Irishman only just managing to deflect it enough to go in. We then took the lead in the tie when a Gallagher corner was knocked in by Steve Davidson, we were going to the final! Except we weren't, at least not yet. I was just about to put the team into full defensive mode when Fatai played a backpass (not under much pressure) and the ball somehow rolled into our net, with Pead on the other side and either not seeing it in time or just being baffled. I actually slammed my head against the keyboard in frustration, not being able to think of a clearly stupider way to potentially throw a tie away. Thankfully it didn't come to that. Byrne had to go off injured in extra-time (with no subs left after Oseni, always the player who tires quickest, needing replacing after 90 minutes) but Gallagher fired home again after a great run from the left. We still had a lot of defensive work to do to hold on but I didn't expect anything less. Leicester won't be easy opponents in the final, but we did recently beat them 4-2 after being 4-0 ahead at one point, so we can definitely take them, at least if we play more like we did in the second leg of the semi (without the weak defending) than the first. Still, win or lose, I'm delighted at how this season has gone.
  10. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Well, I've just done the semi-finals and you were certainly right about that...
  11. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    As I expected, the other two both won. It was probably just that our match didn't matter in the end because from the start we were on the back foot and they could have easily won by 2 or 3 goals. We did managed to finally apply some pressure of our own later on but Northampton (who took far longer to win) had taken the lead by that point, closing a door that otherwise looked like it might stay open. If we had managed to avoid conceding either equalizer against Newport, we'd be up now instead of them. Instead, we face Notts County again in the playoffs, needing to do far better.
  12. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    Woah, I was not expecting to be in this position! Macclesfield was actually a rare dominant performance but after no goals from 18 shots (8 on target) I decided to fiddle around with the attacking roles a bit. I still have a poacher as the spearhead like I have done since the dawn of time but the Complete Forward is now a DLF and the 'winger' playmaker has an attack duty. It seemed to work like a charm as despite a poor showing at an Altrincham side who were running away with the league, we just couldn't stop winning after that. Closing the points gap to the playoffs was easier than the position gap (after Dagenham we were just a point off while still being down in 12th) but we soon found ourselves comfortably in them, aside from when we were 3-0 down at Rochdale (after conceding an equalizer against Woking) and looking like dropping out. We then closed the gap to the automatic promotion places, seemingly out of reach at one point. We managed to draw level with 4 games to go but that's as good as we've managed. Northampton managed to match our following 2 wins, setting up an exciting game with Newport (who the Cobblers had just beaten, putting all 3 of us level on points. A win would probably have put us up (providing we avoided defeat in the final game) and it looked good when Byrne gave us the lead. Unfortunately we weren't so solid at the back as we had otherwise been, and Newport inflicting an early minor injury on our Irish goalscorer didn't help once they equalized. Charlton managed to ease us ahead (before being subjected to a minor injury of his own) but it still wasn't enough, and we go into the last round of matches as the team trailing in what remains a 3-way tie. Notts County away isn't the easiest, though we've cruised through quite a few fixtures like that on our run. I doubt Newport will drop points against Macclesfield, and the odds aren't great for Northampton at Bristol Rovers as well but you never know. All we need is one of those things to happen and a win will see us up. Even if we fail, we have the playoffs (and I fancy our chances on our current form), and even if we lose in those it would still be a fantastic first season back in League 2, putting us in a good position to potentially challenge for promotion again next year.