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Scab

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About Scab

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    Stockholm, Sweden

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  • Currently Managing
    Lancaster City

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  1. Season 2023/24 Review - Lancaster City in the Vanarama National League League Table | Season Review | Goal of the Season I swear this game is taunting me. I mean don't get me wrong — 8th is a great first season in any new divison — but also right below the playoff spots, and that's been our fate twice now. If the position itself wasn't vexing enough, this was the table with one match to go. Everything to play for... and then we blew it. On a more positive note, our 96 goals scored is 2nd only to Colchester and comfortably better than most playoff teams. The problem is those pesky 74 conceded... While I'm sure we're great fun for the gallery, I'd really like to figure out how to cope with crosses and defensive set pieces. With even half-decent improvements in either area, this team should have serious promotion potential. Squad | Hierarchy | Transfers Losing Rollinson and Pitman was hardly ideal for my winger-dependent formation, but I kinda figured we wouldn't be able to hold on to them. With no serious injuries to speak of, Gilmour has thankfully been able to hold the fort on the left while Terzi has been tearing it up on the right. Heck, he's been good enough that I'm considering a tactical change to get him into a more involved attacking midfield role. A focus on crosses from out wide seems like a waste of that passing ability. Does Mallass need mentioning anymore? 29 league goals is, well, best in the league! I can hardly wish for more. Finances You'd think higher gate receipts, £105K in player sales, and a wage bill that's gone down since last season would show here, but no; once again all it means is fewer cash injections. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't for the fact that I can't even get a coaching course funded as long as we're in debt! Aim for next season: Playoffs. Playoffs actually seem possible. Season League Finish Notes 2023/24 Vanarama National 8th - 2022/23 Vanarama North 2nd Promoted via Playoffs 2021/22 Vanarama North 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Semi Final 2020/21 Vanarama North 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Final 2019/20 Vanarama North 8th -
  2. Season 2022/23 Review - Lancaster City in the Vanarama National League North League Table | Playoffs | Season Review | Goal of the Season Decided gentle change wasn't the way anymore, changed formation and dropped almost the entire starting line-up, and... it totally worked! Heck, we're on fire! Telford were never within reach, but I'm thrilled to nab 2nd ahead of FC United, even if by the slimmest of margins! Right. More playoffs. This time at home to Chorley — our only rival at this level — and it was about to be another sad affair after my central defender got himself sent off early and Chorley still had the lead with just minutes to go. Thankfully, a moment of injury time brilliance gave us a lifeline. As Chorley threw themselves forward chasing a (deserved) extra time winner, we pounced on a midfield deflection and, well, Rollinson didn't need to think twice about that one! The final ended up being more of a test of nerves than mettle as we kept taking the lead and Macclesfield kept clawing themselves back within striking distance, but in the end we held and are — FINALLY! — promoted! Squad | Transfers Many new faces, most notably Baxendale who's got the best average rating in the league and Duckett who've been a great threat to put to any team playing a high d-line. The biggest plaudits must however go to Mallass who, yet again, tops our scoring charts with an incredible 36 goals despite giving up a number of starts to Duckett. As reliable as I could ever wish for. Finances Looking a bit better thanks to the cup runs, though the board is taking it as an opportunity to stop the cash injections rather than to get back in the black. Oh well. I'm not sure what became of the new stadium plans — the chairman's been quiet about it for three years now — but we're definitely getting an expansion. If this brings our gate receipts up a bit, I'm certainly all for it! Aim for next season: Stay up. Stay up at any cost. Season League Finish Notes 2022/23 Vanarama North 2nd Promoted via Playoffs 2021/22 Vanarama North 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Semi Final 2020/21 Vanarama North 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Final 2019/20 Vanarama North 8th -
  3. Season 2021/22 Review - Lancaster City in the Vanarama National League North League Table | Playoffs | Season Review | Goal of the Season 3rd. Playoff. Knocked out. At least we're consistent? Similar results aside, this season felt worse. We had a fantastic 2021, topping the table with a 17-3-3 record after a 10 match winning streak. Then it all came crashing down. 2022 saw us muster a mere 4 more wins, not a single clean sheet, and a lot of confusion about what just happened. I'm actually starting to wonder if it might be weather/pitch related and I need to start playing even more direct. There's work to be done here, for sure. Squad | Transfers Almost unchanged. I brought in Johnson last-minute after Statham buggered off to Partick Thistle and found the midfield threat we needed in Tomsett, but apart from them it's been the usual suspects doing their usual things to their usual standard. Finances Starting to recognize the same shark-tooth pattern I had with Mickleover last year, except their board kept injecting money to push the graph back in black while this board seems content to sit at £100K in the red. It isn't actually affecting me beyond blocking any board requests that would cost money, so I suppose it doesn't matter much either way. Aim for next season: Promotion? Season League Finish Notes 2021/22 Vanarama North 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Semi Final 2020/21 Vanarama North 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Final 2019/20 Vanarama North 8th -
  4. Season 2020/21 Review - Lancaster City in the Vanarama National League North League Table | Playoffs | Season Review | Goal of the Season So close. I got tired of getting punished by long balls whenever we misplaced a pass and changed to a deep and direct approach of my own. We now focus on keeping shape and winning set pieces over stringing passes together. It's incredibly boring to watch, but reliable in a way that's frankly more important to us right now than high scorelines. Screw the fans! 3rd. Playoffs. And they started well enough with a 3-1 win against Spennymoor. Then Barrow — the team that didn't lose a game until December, whose 2 regular strikers have 63 goals between them, who beat us twice in the regular season... And did so here as well. I can't even be mad about it; they're on a different level right now. We just 'gotta keep building toward that ourselves. Squad | Transfers Minor improvements, with the notable exception of Denton who came in as a dominating target man. Unfortunately, his headers rarely threaten and his link-up play is much too slow for our counter-attacking style. What's kept him in the team is set pieces where he's frankly unplayable and scores almost all of his goals. In open play we've once again had to rely on Mallass who thankfully had the time of his life chasing down long balls. 31 goals speaks for itself! Finances They don't look great, do they? The board did inject £80K in march, so hopefully those pockets are deep enough to keep us out of serious trouble. Aim for next season: Promotion! Season League Finish Notes 2020/21 Vanarama South 3rd Knocked out in Playoff Final 2019/20 Vanarama South 8th -
  5. Only one of my players improved and he kept an 8.5-9.5 training rating all season. The rest have all declined ever so slightly. Hard to say if it's the facilities or my awful schedules.
  6. Season 2019/20 Review - Lancaster City in the Vanarama National League North League Table | Season Review Not bad. I'll take 8th. I may have spent an embarrassing amount of time cursing at the screen in response to the awful football on display, but hey — we made it work. I'm still grappling with the new training and some of the new screens, so I should be able to build from here. I hope. Also... Um, surprise! We have a new chairman already! £7K the media says we're worth, though the bank loan is actually for a little more than that. Fine by me. Also... Um, surprise! We're building a new stadium! Yes, really. No, I don't know what they're thinking; I'm too busy fighting off panic attacks from imagining 20 years stuck at a ~5K capacity ground. Squad | Transfers Nothing too exciting here. I play a pretty straight-forward flat 4-4-2 and employ pretty straight-forward players for it. Baker does probably deserve a mention, what with scoring 21 goals (7 pens) from his MR position. That's on par with my best striker while providing almost as many assists as my best central midfielder. I'd say that deserves a contract extension! Finances We're alive. For now. Oh God, he's going to take out a loan for that new stadium, isn't he... Aim for next season: Reach the playoff spots. Season League Finish Achievements 2019/20 Vanarama North 8th -
  7. Let's give this a whirl with Lancaster.
  8. Sure, why not? Seems like a natural expansion for the game. I'm sure SI can figure out on their own when/if it makes business sense. From my perspective as a player, simulating more of the footballing world than we do today seems like a good thing.
  9. Season 2022/23 Review - Mickleover Sports in the Vanarama National League League Table | Season Review That's more like it! I finally got the right combination of players and tactical approach to make the team shine! Especially happy with the controlled and organized way in which we so often win; conceding more than a single goal per game has been a rarity. I hate to keep coming back to defending set pieces, but conceding just 7 feels like a world of difference to last year's 21. It's let us get away with draws and tight wins where we'd previously drop points. While I did make the tiniest of tweaks to defensive corners, it likely has more to do with spending the entire season on "defending set pieces" match prep. Good to see it makes a difference! I suppose our cup performance is the one blemish on this season. I expect to struggle against Newport Co — they topped the league for the first few months and have much better players — but getting kicked out of the FA Cup by Bradford PA was a serious low point. They play in the VNN one tier below us! Heck, they even got relegated! The league may have been my priority, but that cup money would've helped us stay financially healthy. Squad | Transfers Getting Duggan in on loan prompted the move to 4-4-2; I couldn't ignore the scoring potential of him and Powell up front. That also made room for Odelusi on the left as an attacking IW cutting inside to overload the center, while Mafuta—Harrison—Bradley held things down with more conservative roles. It's not perfect — I always feel a bit naked without a true DM — but a pushed up d-line seems to shrink the space between stratas decently enough. In less exciting news, I was sad to see Grayson go. I haven't forgotten he's a big reason we're in the VNN in the first place, but he wasn't satisfied rotating with the new boys and left of his own accord. That was months ago and he's still without a club, so I fear this may be the footballing end for our old hero. I wish I could say we have young players coming through as replacements, but my annoying and largely incompetent board decided to sell Adam Flint! The player I spent all last season giving playtime and getting tutored! Instead of actually playing or developing him, Preston also just stuck him in their U18 team! I'd loan him back, but we're apparently not a nice enough place to develop at. Finances Not looking so hot. There's really no big income on the horizon, in fact we'll be looking at new expenses after going professional and getting the stadium up to snuff. I'm curious to see how the board will manage all this. Aim for next season: Stay up. Stay professional. Stay a team no one likes to play. Season League Finish Notes 2022/23 Vanarama National 1st League winners 2021/22 Vanarama National 2nd Knocked out in Playoff 1st Rnd 2020/21 Vanarama National 5th Knocked out in Playoff 1st Rnd 2019/20 Vanarama North 2nd Promoted via Playoffs 2018/19 Vanarama North 16th -
  10. Not sure. I stopped counting!
  11. And it's not even April yet!
  12. Same pattern for me on the manager attributes.
  13. Season 2021/22 Review - Mickleover Sports in the Vanarama National League League Table | Playoff | FA Trophy run | Season Review Decided to completely change tactics, taking inspiration from a 4-1-4-1 that I used to play in @rancer890's asian challenge years ago with one winger pushed up to IF. It was hard to break down, scored on the counter, and strong on set pieces; all characteristics that seem to suit the current match engine. As sad as I feel about breaking up the Powell-Grayson partnership, the results speak for themselves: more points, fewer conceded, and just about the same goals scored. It's a little disappointing that player ratings seem to have suffered but we're definitely better organized, as evident from much smaller variances in results compared to the insanity that was last year's scorelines. We are—to my great annoyance—still worst in the league at conceding corners (12) and not far off for IFKs (9). I'm beginning to think I won't be able to fix this any other way than signing taller players; the central defenders are the only ones with any notable aerial presence and I've noticed they're usually not the ones going in for challenges when we concede. By comparison, Carlisle conceded no corners and one IFK. If I could match that we'd actually be close to their goals conceded. I'm frankly really frustrated with the Playoff match. We beat Leyton Orient both games last season and both games this season. They've never even scored on us before! We squandered five clear-cut chances and even more half-chances, then got punished on Extra Time. I don't even feel bad about losing to Carlisle in the FA Trophy final—they're an amazing team—but this one stung. Squad | Transfers Powell is still lighting the league on fire, if a few goals short of being Top Goalscorer this time around, and Marsh/Phillips do okay taking turns on the IF position. Aspinall had a good season too, keeping 16 clean sheets. It's hard to single out too many of them as overall player performance has gone down; it's very much a team effort that gets us results now, for better or worse. For transfers, Edwards excites me a great deal as the new tactic is getting more assists out of the wing backs. He should be a good threat down the left for us next season. Perhaps as a Defensive Winger, actually; I'm not so sure he'll cope well with crosses to his far post as FB. In fact, I've already seen this problem in action with otherwise-impressive Reed. I still wish I could extend his loan, but Barnet seem to have bigger plans for him. Last but not least: Adam Flint. Picked him up from Histon when the scout claimed he had Championship level potential, then added now-retiring Bradbrook purely for tutoring purposes. He's mostly been getting games off the bench but his development has been impressive enough that I might just make room in the starting line-up. Finances So... Remember how I said I didn't think the cash injections would stop? Well, they stopped. Completely. That spike at the end is FA Trophy final gate receipts and sponsorships coming through so I suppose we're fine, but I'm a little puzzled as to why the board suddenly stopped keeping us in the black. Maybe those pockets aren't so deep after all. On the upside, being some £100K in debt when it was time for contract negotiations prompted some players to accept pretty deep wage cuts, slicing our spending by ~£2,000 p/w. My only concern is that I may have set myself up for future unrest as some are now underpaid and not at all the "backup" I have them categorized as, which I suspect might cause some grumbling about improved deals in the future. Ah well, a problem for future me~. Aim for next season: Title challenge. If only I could get these stinkin' set pieces sorted once and for all... Season League Finish Notes 2021/22 Vanarama National 2nd Knocked out in Playoff 1st Rnd 2020/21 Vanarama National 5th Knocked out in Playoff 1st Rnd 2019/20 Vanarama North 2nd Promoted via Playoffs 2018/19 Vanarama North 16th -
  14. Not much. Club reputation changes ever so slightly during the year you spend on holiday, so you could keep an eye on the World > England > Clubs list to see if your desired team is shifting upwards or downwards. It will affect your chances of seeing them promoted ever so slightly. I holiday to June 23rd, then holiday 1 day to the 24th, then save. That way when I reload the save the holidaying menu is already set to "1 day" and I can simply hit OK. World > England > Overview > Season Summary is relatively quick to get to if your Holiday Man is English. There's no faster way to see who got promoted. If I don't see one of the teams I want promoted, I hit Ctrl+Shift+R to immediately reload the June 24th save. It's relatively quick to repeat the last day of holidaying this way, but finding a rare team is always going to be primarily about attrition. :/ I start a new holiday from the very beginning if I see no new teams for a couple of hours or so.
  15. Season 2020/21 Review - Mickleover Sports in the Vanarama National League League Table | Playoff | Season Review Happy to see a strong first season after promotion. Less happy top drop from 2nd to 5th in the last two matches! But hey, considering we went through a mid-season slump of 6 losses in 8 matches and seem to be back to our old bad habits on set pieces, I'll certainly take it. The issue here is clearly defending; We're the highest-scoring team in the league but 67 conceded is not good enough. Some adjustments will be needed. Playoff... I had a bad feeling the moment we drew Billericay who beat us twice in the regular season. Home advantage back at newly-renovated Mickleover Sports Ground helped, but they held strong and struck twice with long balls straight from defense to the lone striker. Game over. Some good goals this season. This late equalizer was chosen as the Goal of the Season, though my personal favorite is either this cheeky piece of skill from Grayson or this fast-passing build-up through the middle. Either way, this is the one part of our play I'm really happy with! Squad | Transfers The attacking partnership continues: Powell won league top goalscorer and Grayson most assists. Fantastic results, but Powell is clearly the only forward who truly managed the step-up. Feeling pretty good about signing him on a three-year deal now! Transfer-wise I decided to make relatively small changes mostly around the periphery of the squad. Aspinall would be the exception stepping right into goal, Tunnicliffe and Staunton provide depth in defense, Marsh gives me another pacy option up front, and last-season loanee Burrows was happy to sign as backup after Wrexham released him. Bradley didn't arrive until later in the season after spending some time unhappy at Kidderminster, though he doesn't seem happy in the roles I play him. Getting him going may just be one of the keys to improving for next year. Compared to the non-contract players I had to rotate in last year, it's all a big improvement! On a less positive note, I'm falling out of love with Smith. He doesn't perform well enough as a TM and that Plays With Back To Goal PPM—which he's failed to unlearn twice now—doesn't suit the way we normally pass into space. His contract is expiring and I'm leaning towards not renewing. Finances The cash injections continue. The board doesn't even wait until we're in the red anymore. As I don't see them stopping, I'll consider us healthy for now! Aim for next season: Top half. If we almost made 2nd with weaknesses I intend to address, it seems realistic enough. Season League Finish Notes 2020/21 Vanarama National 5th Knocked out in Playoff 1st Rnd 2019/20 Vanarama North 2nd Promoted via Playoffs 2018/19 Vanarama North 16th -
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