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About JDownie

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    International Squad

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    Manchester City

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  1. Any chance of being given a formation or shall I just randomise and take one myself?
  2. @Jambo98 hit me up with a formation when you have a minute to spare big man
  3. Stade de Reims: October - 2017/18 It seems this is my first update in two weeks! Jesus. Hadn't realised it was so long ago. My bad guys. The good news is that I have been playing tonight so I can at least update you at last if you're still reading out there... Here we go: We aren't consistent at the moment, but we are winning a fair amount of games and we are upsetting some of the bigger teams. A draw with Monaco was huge and to beat Rennes 3-1 despite them being overwhelming favourites was most pleasing. The loss to Nantes was mind boggling. We were up 2-0 and then conceded 4 in the second half. No idea what happened to us but not too bothered - our focus is on the cup at the moment. We are exceeding expectations brilliantly at the moment and I'm fairly confident we can secure a high finish in the league if we can keep this up. We're about a third of the way through the season and already my focus is on where in the mid-table we will finish. Relegation isn't a concern in the slightest, which is a great feeling to have but I have to be careful that it doesn't lead to complacency. Last thing to cover is the fixtures for November: An interesting month incoming. OM are sitting down in 12th, Guingamp aren't far behind us, Dijon are dead last and Toulouse aren't doing well. We could conceivably win all four but realistically we won't stand a chance of doing that One last thing to note - Barrie McKay won Ligue 1 player of the month for last month, with an average rating of 8.20 from 3 games, scoring 3 and assisting 2. What a beast
  4. Stade de Reims: September - 2017/18 A solid start to the new season meant that we had to try and follow it up with similarly strong performances. We had some difficult ties but it was a good test for our early season form. Here we go: Failing to beat Lorient was very tough to take - they sat near the very bottom of the table (in fact I'm sure they had 1 point at this point from 5 games) so to only get a point was bitterly disappointing, but at this point not losing is a good result for us I feel. We're predicted 18th, as long as we can surpass that then I'm happy We actually beat Bastia 3-0 but a crash dump required replay and we only took a 1-0 win which was gutting, but I can't complain. A great win. And we followed that up by battering Lille. We actually led 3-0 at one point and almost allowed them back in but we stayed strong and got a good win, so I was delighted. They aren't doing well this season but they had just beaten PSG 1-0 in Paris so I was expecting a tough one. A draw Vs. St-Etienne was good. Losing to Bordeaux was tough especially since we went from 1-0 down on the 51st minute to 2-1 up by the 55th, only to concede two late goals and throw it away An extremely good position to be in so early in the season. I am delighted with how it has started to be honest, and I'm hoping we can keep it up but realistically it's not going to happen. If we can find some consistency once our fixtures get 'easier' (ha!) then I'll fancy our chances. At the moment I'm just trying to avoid losses as much as possible. That's the key to survival right now. Last thing to cover is the fixtures for October: A quiet but difficult month. Reigning champions Monaco will be a brutal tie. Hopefully we avoid embarrassment, it's my only ask to be honest Victory in the others is definitely possible
  5. Stade de Reims: August - 2017/18 After promotion and a busy transfer window, we were keen to get the season kicked off and hopefully with a strong start... We faced a real mixture of teams so it would be a good and early test of where we were at in the opening month. Here we go: An interesting start, at least We done well to get a draw out of Nantes after going behind three times - what a debut for Jason Cummings! The Montpellier game was fantastic, both sides had lots of chances. I was pleased with how we recovered from poor defending and we cut them open plenty of times ourselves, although if not for an Enzo half-volley in the final minute we'd have taken a draw. A massive win and our first in Ligue 1 PSG went more or less how I thought it would. They've strengthened big time after failing to win the title last season (Monaco pipped them) so they're bigger and better than before...welp. A good win Vs. Lorient followed by a solid draw Vs. Lyon made for a very good opening month. Couldn't have asked for much better really. We sit in a very solid mid-table position with a great start behind us. I reckon that if we can keep up these sort of results - although they aren't very consistent, they are good - then we can expect to finish within 3/4 places of 10th, and that would be great. It's still very early though of course. I am annoyed at Brestois starting so bloody well though They beat Lyon away from home which is a fantastic result. Buggers. Last thing to cover is the fixtures for September: A mixture of winnable games and some real tests. I'm looking forward to it already
  6. I've got to the end of August, the transfer window is closed and my season is underway. I'm going to post my transfers for the summer - my ins and outs - and then in a post after I'll detail how the start of the season has gone for us Transfers IN Gedion Zelalem - Free (Arsenal) - First in was young midfielder Zelalem. I've seen him a few times irl playing with Rangers and I know from FM he's regarded as a bright prospect. Getting him on a free gives us additional choices in the centre of the pitch and gives us someone for the future too which is obviously important to me. He's probably only going to get 15-20 appearances this season but at this stage of his career that isn't necessarily a bad thing. And in case of any suspensions or injuries, I've signed someone I feel I can rely on to do a job. Cedric Mongongu - Free (Montpellier) - Mongongu has played almost every season of his professional career in France (all but one, in fact) so he brings in knowledge of the league he's playing in and he's a free signing. Can't really argue with that. Physically he's more than capable, he's experienced and he can be a real rock at the back for us with key attributes all being good for the CB position. He's likely to start almost every game and I think I've signed a really good player for nothing here. Jason Cummings - 750k (Hibs) - The first of three Scots I brought to the club this summer. Cummings looks like the sort of player we've been needing up top - quick, good on and off the ball and able to find the net more often than not. At only 750k it was a no brainer and I'm hoping he can lead our team to glory this season and for the next few. He's a talented player, I just need to make sure I get the best out of him. Grejohn Kyei and Ibrahima Baldé will probably be unhappy at playing second fiddle to him, but given they couldn't hit double figures in the lower tier last season, my concern is more about scoring goals than pandering to them. Enock Kwateng - 1.5M (Nantes) - Kwateng represents our record signing and probably our riskiest of the summer. After Hamary Traore left I had some money to play with but I also had a gap at RB that needed filling. Physically and Mentally, Kwateng is extremely well balanced and at only 20 has plenty of time to improve these areas. Technically he isn't the most gifted, he's perhaps too rough around the edges to attack properly but his strengths are knowing what to do and when to do it, and defensively he has the right tools to hold his own. I've changed my tactics up somewhat to account for his lack of attacking quality, but I'm hoping that in a season or two he'll be the real deal in all areas. He certainly has the potential. Fabian Monzon - Free (Catania) - My third free signing of the summer was former Lyon LB Fabian Monzon. At the age of 30 he's definitely a short term option but his technical ability is unquestionable and I'm sure he'll do a job for us in LM, rotating with Diego. I have doubts over his physical ability - particularly stamina - but I'm sure that for free there's not a lot that can go wrong with this deal. John McGinn - 700k (Hibs) - My second Scottish signing was central midfielder McGinn. He's the complete package in terms of being able to attack and defend and as a box-to-box midfielder I am very confident that McGinn will be a big player for us. Costing only 700k means that regardless of what happens he'll be a good signing as I can always rely on the likes of Armstrong and Enzo Zidane should McGinn fail to adapt to life in France. He's young and he likes to control the centre of the pitch and I'm fairly sure that in a year or two he'll be a very important player for us. Zinedine Ferhat - 525k (Le Havre) - Now I have Zinedine and Zidane at the club Ferhat was a bit of a forced buy. I didn't have much money left at this point but I desperately needed another RM. I looked for weeks before having to settle for Ferhat, but when I signed him I realised he was actually a pretty decent little player. I'm not sure he'll be a long term signing but at only 525k he can't be a disaster. Barrie McKay - 1.3M (Rangers) - My third Scottish signing and my final signing of the summer. McKay has a bright, bright future ahead of him. He's fantastic on the ball, he's physically in great shape and although there's questions about his mental ability, I have no doubts that McKay will be a big signing for us. I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops here and I hope he can be a quality player for us for seasons to come. So just the 8 signings this season...so far. A total of 4.8M means that the average price for our signings was a measly 600k. And I truly feel the squad is much stronger than it was this time last season, which is always a great feeling. I've added great strength to the team in general and I feel I've improved in some key positions. The only position I'm truly annoyed about is RB, but losing someone as good as Traore was never going to be easy to replace, so I can't complain. And the fee we received for him allowed the majority of these deals to go through, so it's for the greater good that we are without him. Transfers OUT I'm just going to quickly list the key ones, as a lot of people left including some loan deals but those aren't massively important bar one or two... Hamary Traore - 4.4M (5.5M) (Lille) - Our star defender, second best player of last season, Traore left us for Lille. I couldn't turn down the offer we received and despite him being as good as he is, the decision was easy to make. I'm hoping that in a season or two we'll be in a position to bring him back, but if not then we'll live. Antoine Conte - 1.4M (1.9M) (Nantes) - Essentially we swapped Kwateng for Conte. With Mongongu coming in, I had 5 CBs and Conte was the one who I could make most profit on. He also didn't strike me as a must-have player. While he's not bad at anything, he's not great at anything either. It was an easy decision to decide he was the one to go, even if he is quite young and did fairly well last season. Pablo Chavarria - Loan (Konyaspor) - Despite being fantastic for me last season, I felt that whoever played RM could've had a bigger impact. Ferhat coming in and being on a similar level to Chavarria but 5 years younger made me realise that I probably didn't need Chavarria as much as I thought I did. And then when I saw McKay was available it meant that Chavarria basically wasn't needed, so I shipped him out. Bizarrely nobody was interested in him, not even in Ligue 2 where he scored 9 and assisted 8, but hey ho. He probably won't play for us ever again which is a shame but then I don't really need him so I don't care all that much, truth be told. Only 3 major departures this season, although in reality 25 people left the club. We netted a total £6.25M from sales, meaning we had an overall profit of about 1.5M in the summer window from transfer activity. August update will come fairly soon I hope
  7. I think if I had more balanced midfielders then I wouldn't hesitate to go 4411; my midfield is currently 2 good DMs and 6 quality attacking CMs though, so it'd be a ballache to balance I think.
  8. Some disappointing news in Hamary Traore leaving us to join Lille. He was someone who could have been at the club for a good 6-7 years I feel, so to lose him is gutting. Lille originally offered 2.5M which I managed to get up to 4.4M + 800k after 50 league appearances + 400k if he wins the Coupe de France + 30% of any profitable sales on him, so all in all it's a fantastic deal but he was such a quality player for us and I only receive 30% of the 4.4M and despite begging the board twice to increase this percentage they're not having any of it. Not sure how good 1.3M (give or take, I'm not good at maths) will be for us. Even 2M of it would've made a huge difference. e: not sure what's happened, but my budget has gone from around 300k to 4.4M - and I definitely only received 30% of the Traore sale. I've not sold any other players or adjusted budgets either. A bit confused but it's great news for us, feel that this can really help us strengthen the squad. Second edit: Spent quite a bit of that 4.4M, got to season expectations and the club have given me an additional 1.7M on top of what I had remaining. Pleased to say I've brought in about 5 players, with another one awaiting confirmation and am looking to bring in a winger with about 1M left to spend. I'm also looking to move on a player at the club which will give me an additional 2M or so to spend, so could be looking at yet another signing if I'm able to wrap up this business. Season is looking very decent at the moment.
  9. I don't know what prompted this but it is a massive relief! Struggling to find players. For some reason, we earned a measly 800k for winning the division and we paid out over £2M for squad winnings We're barely in the black in terms of club finances so I can't imagine we'll be getting any more money. I'm looking to sign free agents and loan deals basically. The transfer list isn't even a viable option ffs! So far, Gedion Zelalem has signed for us on a free. A good young, promising talent who could be a star in a year or two. He bolsters CM and gives us another option off the bench. I'm also in the middle of agreeing a deal with an experienced Ligue 1 CB (played for Montpellier I think, his name was something like Mongongu, I can't really remember ) and for Fabian Monzon to rotate LM with Diego. He's quite old but he's fantastic in all departments physically and mentally and he has the versatility to play both LM and LB. I'm contemplating a formation switch to 4411 instead of 4141, it wouldn't keep us so strong defensively but it would give us an edge going forward and I think outscoring opponents might be the way forward this season. I'm not 100% sure on the decision, it's something I'll need to seriously consider. Perhaps a more solid defensive is more important for the first season, drawing is far more important and better for the team than losing, and that's probably more likely with a solid defense, whereas being attack heavy might win more but will also mean we lose more undoubtedly. I'll think about it. Who knows. Depends on what I can sign I guess...
  10. Stade de Reims - End of Season Review: 2016/17 Overall my debut season in France went extremely well. There's a lot I'm not happy with, but there's a lot I'm very happy with. I'm basically just going to break down league results and standings, cup results, do a quick review of the three best players of the season and look at transfers this season. I'll then lay out my objective for next season and we'll be all done and I can smash through the pre-season of 17/18 Without further ado: Ligue 2 - Champions Standings | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 Winning 9 straight at the beginning of the league made things very easy to begin with. I don't recall exactly how we were doing back then but I know we were probably about 10 points clear straight away. By that token, it's quite disappointing that we ended up winning the league by only 5 points but our second half of the season form was disastrous - to give you an idea, the first half of the season we won 13 and drew 6. The second half we won 7, drew 10 and lost 2. Not great But we got there in the end. As I've alluded to throughout the thread, I lost the dressing room to be quite frank. Christmas onwards was a big struggle. It's something I'm going to have to address to the fullest to make next season in the top tier as smooth as possible and ensure the club continues to develop and improve. If I don't manage that, then who knows if I'll even be writing a season review at the end of next season Coupe de la Ligue - Finalists Results Obviously I am immensely proud of our performances in the league cup this season. We had no right to get this far and the teams we beat along the way were massive scalps. Winning the league with relative ease is one thing, but so far this stands out as our biggest achievement and there's a good chance it will remain that way for a while. Next season I want to try and win it again, but I have to be realistic and that probably won't happen. Still, I would've said the same about this season so we'll see how it goes. Coupe de France - 11th Round Results We were expected to make the 10th Round, we went further. For that I'm pleased. We lost to a team in the division above and for that I should not be too upset, but we should have beaten them. We dominated the game and we shouldn't have lost it. To see that RC de Lens are in the final (against PSG) angers me too, because that's what we should have done. But oh well. Always next season Players of the Season 3. Julian Jeanvier - Jeanvier didn't start the season as a starter, but he quickly made his way into the team's automatic choices due to fantastic performances. He won Fan's Player of the Season with 34% of the vote and it's not a decision I struggle to understand. He was brilliant to be quite frank. I expect he'll be a massive player for us next season. 2. Hamary Traore - I haven't picked players based on their average ratings or anything, just on who I felt stood out and made a real difference. Traore got quite a few assists from FB and he was a big reason for us being the best team defensively in the league. He's been capped by Mali (he starts the game as declared for France) and I'm quite pleased because he deserves to play for a national team. I'm expecting him to be a big part of next season and probably the next few seasons in all honesty as he is a quality full back. 1. Diego - This guy was the standout by far for me. The fans gave him 29% of the vote for FPotY but I felt he should have walked it. He was a constant thorn in the sides of all teams he faced and he finished the season as top goalscorer. Without him I'm not sure we would have been anywhere near as good as we were this season. He's a fantastic talent and will undoubtedly be one of the top men next season. Transfers Overall I'm happy with how the transfers went this season. We made very good signings in general - I'm not disappointed with a single one of the men I brought in. Evander Sno wasn't really important to the team but for a free I could afford him to end up on my bench and being loaned out at some point. Armstrong, Zidane, Cissé and Rossi bolstered our midfield massively and give us a solid foundation for next season to be a great success. I'll obviously need improve our strength in depth, I feel that we don't have a great deal of strength on the flanks or in the DM spot, so I'll have to try and sign guys for these positions. In terms of people leaving the team, I didn't really want to let Kankava leave but the deal was too good and he was quite old (31 iirc) so it made sense. Devaux is basically the same situation, although I had no control of him leaving as he was basically threatening to spit the dummy out. We made good sales; we brought in good players; we made money overall. I am very happy with our dealings this season. Squad 1 | Squad 2 Next Season All things considered we have to build on a fantastic first season. We need to secure top flight status and if that means finishing one point above relegation then so be it. Ideally we'll finish somewhere above 14th but that could be a bigger ask than I realise. In terms of cups I just want to do as best as possible. And in terms of what I need to do, getting in at least one more CB is essential, as is a pair of good FBs. A top striker is absolutely necessary and the main point of strengthening; a top goalkeeper might be just as important if Carrasso isn't willing to put this petty crap aside and try to help the squad. Good players out wide are important, hopefully we'll get a good winger or two in the window. In terms of budget, I've been given an appalling 100k p/w additional wages (pretty good tbf) and a measly 550k transfer budget, which is less than we had this season ffs. I'm hoping that we will get a much better budget whenever we are given prize money etc but this was the early amounts set out by the board. Not good enough to be honest and if that is all they give us I reckon our best hope is avoid relegation and nothing else. But we'll see. 2016/17 Preview will come up soon enough, plan to blast through this pre-season in the next few hours but whether or not I take long depends on what the board give me to work with. If nothing, then it will indeed be a quick pre-season
  11. Well the final went pretty much as expected... Pleased that we didn't get hammered 10-0, that we actually scored and that we didn't have to park the bus for 90 minutes (although we might've done a bit better tbf :D). Slight frustration that we had probably the better chances and only scored once, but oh well. Didn't even expect to make it this far so can't complain at losing out on a trophy I never thought we'd be close to.
  12. Stade de Reims: March - 2016/17 This update follows the month of March. February was our worst month of the season so far and March represented a chance to straighten that up and correct some poor form. There weren't any particularly hard matches awaiting us but being undefeated after so many games means you are a team to be scalped... Here we go: And we were well and truly scalped. Mugged by Metz then scrappy draws, scraping past a team near rank bottom and then another loss. Our season is very quickly spiralling out of control. Numerous saves in my FM time have saw my teams smash it until March/April then collapse. This team is collapsing sooner. Welp. We aren't scoring, we look devoid of creativity and we're getting smashed and scraping draws if we're lucky. Needs to pick up big time or Ligue 2 title goes bye bye 7 to go and we stand 11 clear... Even with Brestois' game in hand this should be routine. But our form is so poor, we've got so many key players missing... I don't know what to expect to be honest. I still think we'll get promotion, automatic, too. But title winners doesn't feel so comfortable as I thought it was a couple of months ago... Last thing to cover is the fixtures for the rest of the season; May only has a couple of games so I'm just going to conclude the season and report on the whole thing: Biggest game of the season incoming. Expecting to be thrashed. The league games I think we need at least 3 wins or else we won't win the title. Simple as that for me.
  13. Not at the end of March yet but had some really bad news that both Diego and Carrasso are missing for the Coupe de la Ligue final Vs. PSG through injury. Coupled with 5 key players being one yellow away from suspension means I'm basically putting a B team out in the game prior to the cup match. Might be the end of our undefeated league streak March update will come in fairly soon.
  14. So our wonderful 36 game undefeated streak has finally come to an end... ...and I am ****ing fuming I don't know what's happened to the team. Well I do. Johann Carrasso (GK) recontracted and part of the negotiation was a promise from me that I would strengthen the midfield. I lost Devaux, I signed Cissé, Carrasso is not happy. He says I haven't done as I promised. The majority of my players feel I've mis-treated Carrasso and done him wrong. The guy who's just managed them to a 36 game undefeated streak has done the goalkeeper wrong. He's playing terribly and there's certain players who are also playing terribly and it's totally jeopardising the team and the season. We haven't won in 5, we've won once in our last 7, and the team seem to not give a ****. It's frustrating and maddening and my only somewhat irrational response is to drop Carrasso for the foreseeable future; rotate out the players taking his side and and simply weather the storm. It'll put our cup final Vs. PSG at risk, but I'd rather have folk giving it their all and not doing that well than have good players who are underperforming over something so ****ing stupid as this. e: 19 of 24 of my players in the first team squad are in support of Carrasso and unhappy with my treatment of him
  15. Stade de Reims: February - 2016/17 This update follows the month of February. Following a fantastic January, we had to look to seal the Ligue 2 title as soon as possible. Some relatively tricky ties lay ahead of us so it would be a good test of where we are at, especially after a key player left in the transfer window (news on replacement at the end of the post)... Here we go: Uhhhhh... yeah Pretty bad month, clearly. We absolutely spanked Borgo and apparently used up all of our goalscoring ability in the process. Four stale, stale games where we either looked great but couldn't finish or we looked dire but stole lucky goals and got draws. The result against Ajaccio especially was very lucky - we were 2-0 down inside 20 minutes and I was pretty certain it was the end of our undefeated run. Until Diego scored a beauty of a free kick and Enzo came off the bench to volley home in the dying minutes of the game. Brestois would've been the real chance to go one step closer to the title given they are our closest challengers but it was a boring game with no chances for either team... not a terrible month though, as the league table shows. We've dropped 10 points in 4 games and we still hold an 11 point lead. The standard of this league is pretty terrible I hope we pick our form up though because had we converted draws to wins the title would be wrapped up in the coming weeks. Last thing to cover is the fixtures for the month of March: A good test against Metz who are the tier above; they currently sit 16th so compared to the teams we have played in cups so far it should be a win, but our abysmal draw-happy form means I am not quite as confident as I perhaps would normally be. The league gives us some decent competition in the form of relegation battlers and promotion chasers. Valenciennes and Clermont Foot in particular will be tough games but none of them will be especially easy I don't think. Hopefully we find our form and start to score again. Ibrahima Baldé is back from injury which should mean goals come back to the team thankfully; Pefok just isn't quite good enough at the moment. With regards to replacing Antoine Devaux, we spent fairly big on replacing him. I looked for young, exciting but already rather capable talent, but the asking price for some of these was in the region of 3-7M. So I went for another man in the division who is close to the prime of his life - Ousseynou Cissé. He's not the quickest and he's not determined nor composed; I'm a little concerned that I've not signed the greatest player available to me. But his versatility in playing CB and DM means that I can easily keep him for a long time and use him in both spots to great effect; he's big, strong, he's good in the tackle and he's a team player. He's going to be a good player for us. A £1.3M signing makes him by far our record signing but he's going to be a good player and will hopefully prove worth every penny.