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137 "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"

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    Crystal Palace

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    AFC Wimbledon

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  1. Other than fatigueness re Gijon, are there any teams that take your fancy?
  2. I did wonder how putting the units on training that was more relevant to the other unit would go! They sure weren't happy. I have been a recent convert to doing the individual training for the whole unit rather than indivdually so I love the way you've shown it here and linked it to the DNA. I may have missed it, so I apologies, but is this solely for the kids or across the whole squad?
  3. Just like Robert Downey Jr's Oscar win today - I think it's time.
  4. Likewise. I'm slow when I'm at normal pace, so I try not to feel too pressured that I'm not churning the updates out. So much respect for those who do!
  5. I'd cull personally - those are pretty significant positions and I find the midfield is often more than not the ones to drag teams over the line, solely from vibes rather than any analysis.
  6. Just caught up with the save - exciting times in Chile!
  7. I'm one of those players who uses an attribute calculator that breaks down their best roles by their attributes as part of my arsenal, so take it with the usual caveats (e.g. unknown PA, personality, adaptability etc), but his best roles currently are: PF(A), W(S) and W(A) - 64% AF(A) and CWB(S) - 63% TRQ(A), IF(A), RMD(A) and CWB(A) - 62% PF(D), PF(S), FN(S), SS(A), IF(S), WP(A), IW(A), MEZ(A) and AP(A) - 61% ENG(S), IW(S) and MEZ(S) - 60% Looking at your formation above, W(S) and IF(A) seems to be the best ones, but if I was to pick a role to train him, I'd say the CF-(S) or CWB(A) role for a more rounded approach.
  8. The only one that matters in English football 😉
  9. POST #7 - End of the Season + Pre-Season Last time I left you with us being crowned League Two champions with six games remaining, something ahead of schedule on the Five Year Plan. In this update we'll briefly go through the final six league games of the season, the Papa Johns Final, and the usual off-season shenanigans before we kick start our League One adventure! League Harrogate made us work hard for a 3-2 win at home where James Tilley missed his fourth penalty of the season, forcing me to push him down the ranks. To be honest, we were sloppy, but I put it down to a bit of a party hangover from winning the title so early. However I demanded professionalism from the team, and we followed it up with a 6-2 away win at Stockport, with six different goal scorers, and ironically, Tilley from the spot. Swindon then took advantage of us going through a punishing final where a late winner punishes our wastefulness in front of goal in a 4-3 loss, and another missed penalty, this time by Zach Robinson. Salford were put to the sword after a three day bollocking by virtual me, with a 5-1 win at home, showing we seem to enjoy playing against a form of the 4-4-2, especially when they go down to ten men. Our penultimate game saw us head to Tranmere where Robinson scored a well deserved hattrick in a game where we had 69% possession in winning 4-2. Our final game saw us go three up at half time with goals from left back Jack Currie, newly appointed vice-captain Matty Longstaff and our tall striker Omar Bugiel. We then took the foot off the pedal, allowing players who were leaving a chance to say goodbye, and we ended up winning 3-2 to finish off a wonderful performance in the League. Papa John's Trophy Final This lovely news item informed us that this was the first time AFC Wimbledon were in the final of some form of the EFL Trophy. More surprisingly was that it was also Charlton's in their 100 plus year history. Charlton came into the final pushing for a playoff position in League One, some 17 or so places above us, which saw us a slight underdogs for this trip to Wembley. I live-slacked on FMSlack, with a link to my channel here. So how did we go? A tight game where both of our strengths was pretty much nullified by each other's tactics. Their 4-2-4 caught us out on multiple occasions, however we both forgot our scoring boots, making it 0-0 after 90 minutes. Extra time was bonkers with us taking the lead twice thanks to Josh Davison and Dejan Tetek, but we conceded pretty much straight after resulting in penalties. Alex Bass was our hero, saving two penalties as we beat Charlton 4-2 on penalties. We have done a domestic double! End of Season Thoughts I won't spam you with images here as it would get lost in the update, considering I will be showing the off-season signings further below, but I thought I'd highlight a couple of things. We broke two league records this season, the most points with 122, and we only lost twice. Josh Davison took home Player of the Season, with 32 goal involvements in 37 games at 7.53 average rating, in fact an AFC Wimbledon player won Player of the Month five out of nine times. The one visual I'll show is this new item they provide us in the game, which I know many FM creator has enjoyed. I think this encapsulates the Wangledon style we have, high scoring, aggressive and open at both ends. Seeing that we had 32 set piece goals was very satisfying, in fact it has become a key part of our board culture and supporter expectation for next season. It does indicate that we do have a lot of shots faced per game, so something to keep an eye on for next season. Transfer Business I used my usual approach to transfers and player analysis that you saw above in Post #4. This enabled me to let go a number of players and sign both first team and youth prospects players. So lets start with the outgoings (as at the end of pre-season). Outs Centre back Paul Kalambayi left to Bolton for £210k upfront with £75k future fees plus 20% of his next sale. He was a regular starter, however his performance wasn't great, and he was a bit of a dick with training and general conversations, so I wasn't keen to keep him. Utility player James Ball went for £31k plus 10% of his next sale to Shrewsbury. He was handy back up who stepped up when we had some injuries, however he was barely League Two quality, so it was worth cashing in. Forward Josh Neufville went to Portsmouth for £220k plus 15% of his next sale. Neufville scored some handy goals, however he spent the longest on the sidelines of any of our squad last season. When Pompey came sniffing, I decided to entertain their offer, knowing if Neufville does hit his potential, we'll get a handy cut of any future sale. Starting Libero Jack Simpson went on the transfer list as previously mentioned, I didn't realise his real life controversy when I signed him, so I wanted him gone and Chesterfield paid his meagre release clause of £205k, where his value is now between £900-1.9 million. But this is all profit, and Lowdon will fill the Libero role very well in his place....... Lol - Jack Lowdon then wanted out when Middlesborough came calling near the end of pre-season. We negotiated up to £350k plus 20% of his next fee, so that should do nicely. As a result of this we were light in the Libero role, so Danny Rose is being retrained to be the starter there. Jake Reeves was a very handy midfielder in the Segundo Volante role last year, however he was replaced during the season with Dejan Tetek and so was surplus to requirements, so we were happy to send him off to Burton Albion for £230k plus 20% of his next fee. Ins We have 11 signings at a grand total of £0 spent, nine on permanent signings, and two on loan. In chronological order, let the screenshot spam commence! Adam Berry - free transfer from Man Utd - back up Mezzala. Jack Kingdom - free transfer from Man Utd - starting Ball Playing Defender Jayden Danns - free transfer from Liverpool - back up Advanced Forward Ethan Wheatley - free transfer from Man Utd - rotation striker Alex Murphy - free transfer from Newcastle - Backup Left Wing Back Max Thompson - free transfer from Newcastle - back up keeper Terence Miles - free transfer from Liverpool - back up Libero Kain Ryan - free transfer from Brighton - back up Ball Playing Defender Leo Castledine - half season loan from Senior Affiliate Chelsea - back up utility Mezalla and forward Lesley Ugochukwu - season loan from Senior Affiliate Chelsea - starting Segundo Volante Daniel Chesters - free transfer having been released from West Ham - squad player utility with high potential So how does this make my squad look? I go into the season with six of the same starters than last year in Lowton, Currie, Longstaff, Bugiel, Robinson and Al-Hamadi, with Rose, Johnson and Smithies stepping up from the bench to be initial starters with only Kingdon and Ugochukwu getting a starting berth, but I assume as the season progresses, we will see some of the new signings establish themselves as starters. So how did we go with pre-season? Whoops. Until next time, and as always, remember you're a Womble!
  10. POST #6 - JANUARY TO THE YOUTH INTAKE Bit of a spoiler above - as the end of March saw us be crowned League Two champions with six games in hand! Looks like the keeper Bass is giving the coach a kiss, or is it a flick of his chin? This update will see us head to Stamford Bridge, concede over a goal a game, and see us take on League One teams in the Pizza Cup. Let's get to it shall we? January We had a lovely New Years Day with a 1-0 win against Forest Green where we had Al-Hamadi to thank with a late second half goal, in a game where we had 10 shots on target to two, and won the xG battle 3.32 to 0.51. We then had our FA Cup Third Round tie at the mighty Plough Lane against Premier League powerhouse Chelsea where three penalties were given that if VAR were in play, may have been overturned. Unfortunately for us, one of them was for Chelsea in the 86th minute. Two great goals for us by James Tilley from the spot, and Zach Robinson gave us a plucky 2-2 draw, with a replay at Stamford Bridge which would be very handy for the coffers. We then had a consecutive clean sheet in the league with a 2-0 win against Wycombe with James Tilley continuing his good form and Matt Lowton scoring from the Libero role. Unfortunately we lost our starting Segundo Volante Jake Reeves to a severe injury that will put him out for the rest of the season. A heavily rotated side beat Hollywood's Wrexham 2-1 with backups James Ball and Ryan McLean doing us proud, allowing our first team a good rest before our biggest game of the season. Would be a bad time to accept your physio's recommendation for rest right? Be a fine time to have your best striker go on holiday aye? F**K. We gave it a red hot go, with Huseyin Biler, Ali Al-Hamadi and Josh Davison getting us 3-2 up just after the hour, however Chelsea's bench quality overran us, going down 4-3. I can't be too upset with that. We finished the month unbeaten with a 3-1 win against local Crawley, 1-1 against Mansfield thanks to a late penalty by Lee Brown, and a 5-2 win in the Pizza Cup against Salford with second string strikers Aron Sasu and Ryan McLean getting on the scoresheet. January was also busy off the pitch, with two major deals done. One of them was gaining Chelsea as a senior affiliate, which will enable us to take advantage of their very strong youth prospects with little to no charge. Very handy for our rise up the leagues. We also made a free transfer signing. Dejan Tetek comes from Reading and looks like a handy pick up, with Championship level potential. He'll has a strong work rate, fairly consistent and a committed player, something I love in a centre midfielder. He'll be our starting Segundo Volante and I have high hopes. February Dejan Tetek decided to show his stuff against poor Bradford, scoring a hattrick and producing two assists in a perfect ten rating, however he did not get Player of the Match, with Josh Davison's brace and assist getting that in an 8-2 thrashing. Sure 8-2 be a Bradford player that day, soz. We followed that up with a 4-1 win against Barrow were we went down early, but recovered with Tetek scoring his fourth goal for the club, Davison having another brace, and left wing back Jack Currie getting in on the act. We had plenty of chances against Accrington Stanley, however a missed penalty by James Tilley cost us when Stanley scored an injury time equaliser in a 3-3 draw. We finished up the month with three wins on the trot, beating Morecambe 4-2, with Tetek, Robinson and Longstaff doing their magic. Robinson made it scoring two games in a row with a 3-0 win against Gillingham with Al-Hamadi coming in with a brace, and Robinson, Davison and Simpson scoring in a 3-1 win against Doncaster. February saw us meet our season objective of reaching the Playoffs early, and our youth facilities now becoming adequate. Finishing things early and being barely adequate - things we don't want to see often in real life, but a nice thing on FM. We also were designated overachievers of the EFL Cup, and Tetek and Robinson were crowned the best and second best player and young player of the month. We also had our fifth Manager of the Month award of the year. We also signed a new player from the free transfer market. Ex-England International Danny Rose joins after a long stint on our trial list after our back up left back started to decline very substantially. Rose will rotate with our starting left wing back Currie and I'll be surprised if I keep him after the end of the season, mainly based on his age. MARCH March has been eventful, and that's an understatement! On the pitch, we started off confirming our promotion with a dominating 3-1 win against our big rivals MK Dons, with Matt Lowton starting us off nicely in the opening minute, and strikers Omar Bugiel and Zach Robinson finishing things off. With the semi final of the Pizza Cup coming up three days later, I decided to rotate my squad and we met with a very annoyed Notts County who took advantage of our off day, beating us 2-1, to give us our first defeat in the league, only 38 games in. Can't be too upset with that! Our refreshed first team with a ten day break went up against League One side Cheltenham for a place in the Pizza Cup final, where we fell behind early, but got going with some quality finishing by Zach Robinson and a Omar Bugiel brace doing enough to get us over the line with a 3-2 win. Into our first cup final where we will be up against Charlton, a long time rival for my Crystal Palace and a fellow South London team, how poetic. Our last two games of this save were ones for the neutrals, with a 6-3 thrashing to welsh side Newport, and a 5-3 win against Crewe confirming us a League Two Champions! Off the field however, we were met with this Whoops. Thankfully I had already 'Set for Release' two players and after persuading another, who was earning over 2,000 a week and was at best a squad player, I was able to rectify this pretty quickly. Goodbye Pell, Little and Brown on a very eventful morning. Also you would enjoy Al-Hamadi being annoyed about his game time, when he was injured for a good chunk of this period. Gotta love FM! Only one way to celebrate, by signing another player off the free transfer market! I signed this old FM favourite of mine Alex Smithies as my starting keeper Alex Bass for next season was on loan to us, and his parent club were not interested at all at rolling that over to another season, and my current back up was naff. So the intention is for Smithies to hold that role for a couple years, with his determination being handy for any mentoring of future youth keepers. With the title wrapped up, we were notified of our budgets for next year, with our wage budget increased by 50% to 75Kp/w and our transfer budget at 784k, which is the first time we've really had some money to play with, which will make the off-season very interesting! We also were able to get the board to improve our Below Average Training Facilities and increase our Youth Level up to Level 2 before our first game of League One next season. Things that go to our long term objectives for this save to be a youth-centric save where we take advantage of our youth squad. Youth Intake Golden Generation? Probably overreach there, but I do like the look of four or five of the intake on face value. Alex Jones is the pick of the bunch with his 16 determination, pretty solid techincals and leadership qualities. Sait Dağaltın arguably has the highest ceiling, but his low self belief means he'll need a lot of TLC and mentoring if he gets to the first team level. I took the opportunity to sign 13 of the intake, who have PAs from 2.5-4.5 as this, after the release of all players below 2* in the Under 18s, will give us 16 players - 1 keeper, four centre backs, three wing backs, three centre midfielders and five centre forwards, which fits nicely with our 3-2-2-3 formation. Using the Ajax Way of youth development that was exceptionally written by SteinkelssonFM over at View From The Touchline, but with a Wangledon twist. While the Youth Intake was overall solid, I couldn't help see that my current Head of Youth Development hadn't wowed me with the players he identified, so I went on a search for a new one. I feel I have found a good one as a replacement, with an upgrade in HoYD attributes and personality. I'll leave you all with the overview of the table and player stats with six games to go. Until next time, and as always, remember you’re a Womble.
  11. Great point re injury protection - In the "Rest" tab under Training screen, you can select "No Pitch or Gym Work". Now from what I can read of the Recovery tab, this has the weights symbol, so not too sure if this counts as "gym work". If it doesn't, you could argue that selecting one session of Recovery and then straight into it would give those players who played a day off and allow the non-players to get one to two sessions on that day of training? Just spitballing ideas.
  12. I would love to have a played vs not played training schedule option for this exact reason. Though I haven't tried it, I wonder whether the effectiveness of the Match Review reduces when your team is in the upper levels of Team Cohesion and Tactical Familiarity, usually when you are post pre-season and playing a regular number of games, thus itself keeping things going on that front. So my hypothesis, so to speak, is that manually resting players, and having MD+1 to be a normal day of training may work until we can have different schedules for players vs non-players.
  13. Plenty to do to get things back on track but that is what makes it so more exciting! Good luck
  14. I've seen a lot of people retrain their wingers into Wingbacks, which has its flaws, have you considered that? Noting that most do have pretty weak defensive attributes that it would be a risk.
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