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About BuryBlade

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    Sheffield United

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  1. FMS Predictions League 2017/18

    Week 3: Saturday 26 August Bournemouth 1 v 2 Man City 12:30 Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Swansea 15:00 Huddersfield 1 v 1 Southampton 15:00 Newcastle 1 v 1 West Ham 15:00 Watford 2 v 1 Brighton 15:00 Man Utd 2 v 0 Leicester 17:30 Sunday 27 August Chelsea 2 v 1 Everton 13:30 West Brom 0 v 0 Stoke 13:30 Liverpool 1 v 1 Arsenal 16:00 Spurs 2 v 1 Burnley 16:00
  2. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will have a go at making separate shortlists and keeping an eye on players who may become interested later on. Hopefully we can pick up some better players this way. Three good seasons so far but I fear the rep being so low for this level will bring a halt to the Braintree juggernaut. I've seen people on the challenge threads who have won back to back promotions all the way through to the Premiership. Hats off to them as based on the recruitment this pre season, my team will be lucky to survive.
  3. Once you have been with a club long enough, the board can offer you the choice to pick your own feeder club. They then try to work a deal and if successful you get the affiliation set up with the club you chose. On my FM16 save, I had affiliations with clubs all over the world who had excellent youth production, who I had picked myself.
  4. Morale in FM touch

    As someone who plays only on the iPad version, the only way to improve morale is by improving results and through team meetings when suggested by your assistant (I avoid these as I usually always made things worse). We have less tools available than the full version so we have to focus on other areas that we can control. Read through the tactic forums. Find a tactic that works for you, tweak it as you go to suit your team's strengths and weaknesses. Once you have a decent tactic, I find the rest of the game is quite easy as long as you focus properly on squad building. Lots of good threads on here in the tactics section, on Guido's Strikerless site and if Cleon puts his site back online, he is an expert tactically. All these guys work helped me massively in learning the game.
  5. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Season 4 Preview We have made it to League 1! And somehow, still no one decent wants to join us. Don't know if this is a bug or not but I can't attract anybody who I deem to be decent to the club. You will we below by my transfer business that yet again, I'm shopping in the charity shops when my competitors this season are shopping at Waitrose and Selfridges. As per one of my favourite lines in Moneyball: 'There are the rich teams and there are the poor teams. Then there's 50 feet of crap and then there is us!' My Moneyball approach so far, as a result of having no money before this season and now that nobody wants to join, has worked so far. I'm not so sure we can compete in league 1 though. The bookies seem to agree: The board don't seem so confident either: No point having all this money if nobody will join me. I refuse to waste it on improving youth or facilities as at this level it is pointless. Any players we produce at this level won't be good enough for the Premiership, which is my target. Once I get there, I will start improving infrastructure. For now I will keep my money and hope someone will join me soon that improves the squad. My transfer dealings in the bargain bucket: Because no one would join me, we had just 2 CBs left. I scoured the Premiership reserves and loaned some defenders on season loans. Not ideal but I have put together my team for next season. Unless I can attract better players, I don't see the squad being too dissimilar to last season. Of the players brought in on frees, the majority are released youth players who my scouts said were Championship potential. Not good enough for league 1 currently but I'll give them a go and they'll either come good or inevitably attract bids from bigger sides. The fixture list highlights the magnitude of the task ahead. These teams are miles bigger than us! As usual, my pre season prep involves a stern test against a big team. This year it's Arsenal. A couple of morale boosters follow and then our parent club Southend... again surely a bug that we are now in the same league but the board haven't cancelled the affiliation?! I'd be interested to hear any suggestions as to alternative recruitment methods and bringing in players when the player search shows nobody decent? I have a feeling it's going to be a long hard season. Avoiding relegation will be my primary aim. An FA Cup run would be nice to keep the streak going.
  6. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Season 3 Review A few poor performances cost me the chance of a third straight title. Walsall were more consistent overall and we missed out on the title on the last day. Delighted to have defied the pre season predictions and have secured another promotion. Coupled with an excellent FA Cup run, we have had a great season on the pitch. The sales of fringe players in January also means it was a success off the field. Signed in January to help boost my promotion push, my favourite real life player didn't disappoint. Some excellent performances and key goals helped secure the points to keep us in the top 2 until the finale. A fabulous year for Stewart who after a slow start, came to life and tore opposition defences apart. Having been with me since the start, it is nice that he is still able to perform at this level. I also feel that if he avoids injuries and continues where he left off, he could be effective in league 1. Another who after a starting slowly, found his feet and banged the goals in. Again, going to give him a shot in league 1 as I think he could still offer something. Personal accolades are always welcome. Just like in January, it didn't take long for teams to come sniffing for my players... but again, not my superstars! Lots of clubs were interested around March so I simply played him in some games so that it would guarantee a move away. He wasn't good enough for me and I wanted to sell. 300k for a player valued at 26k is good business I think. Harris played a rotation part for me last season but wasn't anything special so 300k from Boro was very welcome. I have begun my planning for next season as it will be a big step up from league two, with teams like Cardiff and Sheff Utd to play.
  7. FMS Predictions League 2017/18

    Not the best of starts to the season predictions wise! Let's hope for better on week 2! Week 2: Saturday 19 August Swansea 0 v 1 Man Utd 12:30 Bournemouth 1 v 1 Watford 15:00 Burnley 1 v 1 West Brom 15:00 Leicester 2 v 1 Brighton 15:00 Liverpool 2 v 1 Crystal Palace 15:00 Southampton 1 v 0 West Ham 15:00 Stoke 1 v 1 Arsenal 17:30 Sunday 20 August Huddersfield 1 v 1 Newcastle 13:30 Spurs 2 v 1 Chelsea 16:00 Monday 21 August Man City 2 v 1 Everton 20:00
  8. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Deadline day - Incoming players With major holes in the squad due to the departures, I needed to get a few players in quick. I couldn't find a goalkeeper either on loan or for sale that was any good so I simply promoted a youth player, who is not good mind, and will hope my starting GK stays fit. The sales have put us in a great financial position so I had money and wage room available. I'm a Sheffield United fan in real life. So in game, I always keep any eye on how they're doing. On this save, it's not good. However, two of my favourite real life players were available. Paul Coutts is a CM who Chris Wilder has transformed in real life into a pivotal part of his team. He keeps things simple and plays the Pirlo role. Receive the ball, pass it on, move into space, receive the ball, pass it on. A great player who makes those around him better. So when I saw in game that they had released him, I asked my scout to run a report. He was interested, wages affordable and rated better than all my current CMs. My favourite player in real life is Billy Sharp. A Sheff Utd fan, captaining his boyhood club. Someone who cares as much as the fans do, who gives his all and scores goals. 30 last year to fire the Blades to the title and 100 points! I have signed shirts and photos with his autograph on them. He is Mr Sheff Utd and is as close to a modern day icon as we are going to get. Now in FM world, Billy has found himself unwanted at Bramall Lane by Manager Mike Phelan (unacceptable!) and has been listed for free. The scout report came back as a quality player but wage demands too high. I gave it a shot anyway and managed to come to a deal (very expensive for my current set up) but it's Billy Sharp and he plays for me! I think he will make all the difference for the rest of this season and hopefully will be able to bang in the goals to get us promoted. I scoured the loan market and managed to get a couple of loans in to add backup to the first team. For a Transfer Window that brought in so much money, and to be able to sign some key players for nothing, I am very pleased.
  9. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    January Transfer Window - Major Updates I was all set for a quiet January Transfer Window. I didn't feel the need to sign anyone or sell anyone. I was happy with the squad and the way the season is going. However, about threee quarters of the way through the window, big team's came a calling for my players... not my key players though. My hot prospects who had barely played. Now I have a theory that the AI can 'see' or search by PA. on every save I play, they always seem to have better visibility of PA globally than the user does. These players, showcased below, were not even first teasers for me. I didn't think they were even league 2 level, yet much bigger teams have bought them, for way over their values. That's just my view so let's get to seeing the transfer dealings: Outgoings Bought to be retrained as a RWB, Kerr played a handful of Cup and less important fixtures. Didn't look anything special for me. So when Cardiff and Derby came calling, and offered 150k, I was more than happy to sell, for as much as I could extort out of them. Next up was CM Johnson. Signed because the scout report said he had potential to play in league 1, he barely featured for me so again, with big money offers, he was sold. Backup goalkeeper O Neill was next. Never played a single match, as he was THIRD choice for me, but Middlesbrough obviously see more than I do and paid good money for him. Other backup goalkeeper also departed. Decent money for someone who played just a few times. Last but not least was another CM who again had potential but barely featured. I am a big believer in sell on clauses, so got these in on as many deals as I could. Free money in the future? Yes please! This left me with a problem though... we now had no depth or backup in the squad at all! The next post will look at what I was able to do in the last few hours of deadline day.
  10. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Well after a great start, the wheels have fallen off a little in this, update 1 of 2 for today. Loads has happened since the last update, so 2 monster updates needed to cover everything! Update 1 - On the field Progress Morale plays such a huge part in football, and that is no different on FM. Keep the good results going, morale stays high and hot streaks occur. Results start to slip, morale dips and it can become difficult to break the bad run. A good start can so easily peter off with a bad month. We left the last update at the Plymouth game. Performances had started to dip already at that point, with two 0-0 draws in a row. We managed to halt that minor blip with a few wins, but the defeats started coming thick and fast, beginning with an awful performance at Cheltenham. 3 league defeats in 4 games soon followed, with the FA Cup matches providing much needed relief from a league campaign that was falling apart in front of me. Having battled to a 0-0 draw away at Shrewsbury in FA Cup round 2, we dispatched them in the replay to set up a tie away to league 1 side Gillingham. I expected a tough test and probably defeat with the form we were on, but amazingly, we ripped them apart with ease, and if anything, were guilty of wasting many chances. The draw was good for round 4. A home tie against Everton! I thought it was guaranteed for TV money, but no, stupid game! Haha. Our first sell out game at the expanded Cressing Road stadium. The eagle eyed amongst you will see mention to some new names in the news article. I'll focus on the off the field progress in monster update 2! Back to the tie. I was hoping Everton would play a weakened side. Give me a chance. I don't want to be humiliated. Look at the Everton team. Svilar, Barkley, Deulofeu, Bolasie, Lukaku... All individually worth more than my entire club... by about 10 times over at least! Everton have taken this seriously. I fear we could be in trouble here. I've stuck with the same tactic I always use. I don't change the set up to counter any opponent. I do however, adjust the mentality going into the gam. Normally we play standard or control. I have opted to use the Counter mentality. Half time, 0-0. W have matched a team of superstars, well above our level. We have dominated the ball, and had twice as many shots on target. Very pleasing so far. 63 minutes on the clock. Mirallas picks the ball up and runs at the defence, throws himself to the floor with a triple pike. The commentary bar says it looked like simulation there by Mirallas (or words to that effect). The referee, buys the con, and awards the diving cheat a free kick on the edge of the area. I already know how this ends. The underdog gets shafted by the cheating superstars, robbed in their cup final. Mirallas himself, the cheating w****r (virtual in game Mirallas not real life Mirallas just to legal clarification in case he reads this), is going to take the free kick, just to rub salt into the wounds. I feel robbed. Sick. Cheated. We have played so well up to this point and been punished by a dive. We tried to get back into the game, but my players were as deflated as I was. We didn't really create any clear chances, and barring a couple more attempts, failed to pose any real danger to Everton. That said, little League 2 Braintree pretty much matched Premiership Everton in the fourth round of the FA Cup. I'm very proud of their efforts and hopeful they can translate this kind of performance to the league campaign. The fixtures that are missing between the two Fa Cup game updates are shown below: Defeat at Walsall was a blow considering they were second in the league and overtook us as a result. We bounced back well with 10 points from the next 12, leaving the table looking like this: At the start of the year, I would have laughed at any suggestion of us being in this position at the start of February. We need to finish strong and make sure we get promoted again. Next up, major transfer news from the January transfer window!
  11. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    The wheels have fallen off a little bit since... Writing up 2 more updates now to be posted shortly.
  12. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Another good addition for this level. Adds experience that we were lacking following my forced recruitment of young free players. Predicted to finish just above the relegation zone, the start to the season has been good. My strikers are struggling a little bit and may have found their ceilings as they are anywhere near as prolific as last year. A lot of goals have come from elsewhere so far, which is good in one sense but I need the strikers to step up a bit mor. However, considering our budget, and the step up in class, I'm delighted so far. The waste of time Checkatrade trophy saw me play a complete reserve side as I had no intention of staying in that any longer than necessary. The league and FA Cup are my focus this year. The 7-1 demolition of Oldham is a particular highlight, showing that when everyone is fit, and everything comes together on the day, we are unstoppable.
  13. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Thanks! Really enjoying this save so far.
  14. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Pre-season was a mixed bag on and off the field. I got a little bit excited at this: Great signing for this level and exactly what I was looking for to provide depth to my attack as currently I only have McLoughlin, Stewart and Hitchcock, all of whom pick up injuries quite frequently. Talking of injuries, just days after Fletcher signs: Major injury for McLoughlin is a huge blow for us. Stewart also got injured in the same friendly and is out for 4 weeks. My goalkeeper Bonham has been injured for the last two months, and will miss the start of the season. So I'm missing 2 key strikers and my only decent keeper. The friendlies were a decent enough exercise: Following the injuries in the Billericay game, I cancelled my final friendly (would have been against a local side) as I can't risk losing any more players before the season opener. We have beaten Eastleigh in the FA Cup in both our previous seasons, however with key players missing, I'm expecting to lose.
  15. Searching for the wisdom of the Braintree

    Season 3 Preview Going into this season was all about avoiding the mistakes I made going into season 2. Better planning, better recruitment and better financial control. That was the plan and it started well. I made detailed plans using pen and paper, drew up a shortlist of targets and transfer listed everyone I didn't need. The plans were great, this time it was going to be different. Yeah, best laid plans and all that... I managed to get NONE of my targets. NONE! Either I couldn't afford the wage demands, they chose to sign with their current clubs or chose a competing offer elsewhere. This meant I was back to square 1 and really annoyed that all the planning and effort was for nothing. Back to square one, major holes in the squad and time running out. I had to come up with another strategy. I quickly got rid of all the players I didn't want, bar one who nobody wants and went to work on the free transfer market. With no real transfer budget, free transfers were my only hope of assembling enough players to provide me with cover in all positions. My first move was to make an offer for my superstar on loan last season. Not only did he agree terms, he didn't want much money and was available on a free at the end of his contract. A great start to the summer signings. I worked hard on going through the released lists from the leagues above and had my scouts draw up reports on anybody I thought looked decent. The majority wouldn't discuss terms or wanted too much money. However, I picked up a few decent players, notably Aaron Kuhl who is a major coup for my club. Having not been able to sign any of my key targets, I am not as optimistic as I was previously about our chances this season. Having looked at the media prediction and board expectations, I feel avoiding relegation will be my aim but hopefully we can achieve more than that. I have arranged pre season friendlies the same way as last year. A couple of tough games against much bigger teams and a couple of easy morale boosters against local sides. I just want us to get off to a good start. Momentum plays a big part in football and if we can start well and continue where we finished last season, we might just overachieve again. We shall see!