Jambo98

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About Jambo98

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    Third Team

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  • About Me
    Alongside a cold beer, somewhere.

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    Hearts

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  • Currently Managing
    Southampton (FMO) / Athletic Bilbao

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  1. This latest batch of interest makes me want to dip back into this again I need a new formation though, cant ever go back to that haunting previous one. So giving myself another draw for another go: Jambo98 - 4240DM Strikerless.........hmm, not done anything of that ilk in a long time. Shame Berardi now misses half a season as he might have fitted this nicely.
  2. Yeah i was going to post to say that, anyone starting now will be on the Jan update. Changes are minor i think. Berardi is out injured for the entire first half of the season now 6 / 7 months and the only addition to the squad is Aquilani on loan. The only loss was Terranova who was a nothing player anyway.
  3. @Psychoward Outpatient - 523 Narrow
  4. My apologies, I had not been checking this thread after I got completely fed up with my lack of ability to make anything work and got caught up in other saves! You are welcome to still get involved! @reerdo - 541 Diamond WB
  5. January 2017 Its January, which means the transfer window opens up. Whilst Jim Whyte gets his knickers in a twist on SSN, I am working a different end of the market entirely. First up, and most surprisingly to me, I receive a call from Agent. I had never known players at this level to have an agent and suspected it might have been one of my players on a wind up, but this Irish fella asked if I would take a look at his player who was available for free. Carl Mahon is a 16yr old native of Laois (middle Ireland). He has never been on the books of any club, which makes his "agent" all the more of a mystery. None the less, I agree to a trial. After 2 days in training, my Ass man Ross is raving about the kid, and my coach agrees so I sign him up immediately on a £30 per week. One for the future perhaps. Next up, a moral dilemma for me. As I review scouting reports whilst enjoying an Innis & Gunn in one of these swanky new tapas bars on Leith walk, I note that there are several on promising young players who all play for Queens Park. Now Queens of course, are a strictly amateur club and as such anyone playing for them is not under contract. My scout has identified no less than 4 of the youth squad at Queens as having high potential and being willing to sign for us for small youth level wages. It feels harsh on poor Queens, but I have my club to look after. As I finish my beer, choking as the bill is presented to me (since when did beer get served in "scooners" anyway, what is a "scooner" and why has it just cost me 7 quid???) I resolve to offer contracts to the 4 lads in question: Alan Docherty is a 17yr old Keeper who has some promise and is not a million miles away from being first team material. I need a second keeper with Antell gone and this lad looks like he could push Quinn right away, although having a 17yr old and 18yr old as my 2 "senior" keepers might not be ideal. Derek White is another 17yr old and probably the pick of the bunch in terms of being ready to contribute right away. He can operate either in defence or in midfield and is a strong hard worker who has an eye for a killer pass. Paul Brown, also 17, is a central midfielder of some promise. He likes to keep the game simple and is certainly no worse than our current backups, with the opportunity to be quite a bit better Jay McKay , the last 17yr old is a right sided fullback or wingback who is probably not quite ready for first team football but again the scout thinks he could grow a lot. Along with the previously confirmed signing of Garry Kenneth, that means 5 new faces arrive at training in the first week of January. I would like to offload a few, but so far only Frazer Paterson has been the subject of a bid and he signs for Spartans. Before I could do any more business, the matter of a visit from Arbroath needed to be dealt with Edinburgh City v Arbroath I had a big decision on my hands tactically for this. Our 3 5 2 was clearly misfiring, or to be more accurate firing blanks. No goals at all in the month of December was not a cheery stat. Do I blow up my seasons tactical plan, and re-shape the squad to suit something else? I was not quite ready to do that yet. The transfer window has plenty time, but for today we stick to the 3 5 2 Into the side comes new signing Kenneth at the back and Gielty gets a start as a striker, purely in the absence of anyone else being in anything close to form. We start better, and after 15mins the long streak is broken. We have a shot on target. It is not much to speak of, but it is progress! Just 6 mins later, miracle of miracles, a goal! It is not a thing of beauty, as Allan Walker hits a free kick from 20 yards which deflects off the wall and leaves the keeper no chance, but we will take it! We look in somewhat better form as the half goes on and we muster another 2 shots on target, leaving our fans positively giddy at the half. I encourage the lads and leave things the same for the second half. Arbroath a flurry in the first 15mins which we handle ok, Gary Kenneth looking solid on his debut. With 20mins to go we suffer a big blow as keeper Connor Quinn goes down clutching his arm and is in serious pain. He is stretchered off and on his way to hospital. This means a much early than expected debut for Alan Docherty. At the same time, I send on a second debutant as Irish kid Carl Mahon replaces Gielty. Mahon creates 2 good chances in the first 10mins he is on the pitch but we cant take either. I complete the trio of debuts by bringing on Paul Brown for Laird with 5 mins to go, and we hold out easily. A good 3 pts Edinburgh City 1 (A Walker 21) Arbroath 0 Attendance 625 After the game, we get the bad news that Connor Quinn has broken his arm and is facing 7 weeks out. This means I will need to look for a backup keeper, likely taking advantage of trialist rules. Meanwhile I continue to work the phones and shape the squad. Shaun Bowers has his loan terminated and is sent back to Celtic. Shaun did ok when called on, but we have no need for a 3rd choice RWB and the rules mean I can bring in one more loan now which I duly use on 18yr old Andrew Macrae from Inverness. Andrew is a finisher who is also quick, and at this point I am just throwing numbers at my attack to see what sticks! Meanwhile our sub keeper need is filled by former Berwick custodian Mark Walters, a 31yr old journeyman who is little more than a warm body at this point and is in for a 4 week trial period which allows him to appear in 3 games max if needed. Cowdenbeath v Edinburgh City Time for another trip to Central Park to take on the Blue Brazil, who sit rock bottom. With Quinn out, Alan Docherty steps in for his first start and loanee Macrae goes straight into the line up in attack. A welcome return to the bench for Ouzy See as well, as he is now fully recovered from his injury, if a little short of match fitness. After our positive result last time out, we are a bit tentative in the early stages here and Cowden make most of the running. We start to come into things as the half goes on, but again we are guilty of being somewhat over aggressive in the tackle. The half looks to be ebbing away when on 39mins Lewis Allan drills a low cross which Andrew Macrae finishes first time for a debut goal. At the break I tell the lads the first half was not bad but I would like a bit more. Strangely, this seems to prompt some complacency in our game as Cowden take a firm grip of the game for the first 20mins of the second half. I make a change to bring more energy to midfield, with Paul Brown coming on for Marc Laird, but other than a 5min flurry it is not effective. With 15mins to go i bring Ouzy See on for scorers Macrae, and the big man gets a nice welcome back from the 80 hardy travelling souls who have come to support us. At the same time I ask the team to go more defensive and hold the slim lead. Sadly, the plan fails and after we fail to deal with a routine deep cross, on loan Jambo Lewis Moore slots home to bring them level. I immediately reverse my previous instruction and ask us to go attacking to try and regain the lead, but other than a scrambled half chance, it is too late. To top things off Kyle McAusland picks up a second yellow with a minute left and we have to settle for a point with 10men. As the lads trapse into the dressing room, I deliver a firm dressing down. We need to be better than that, particularly when we have grasped the lead in a game. Cowdenbeath 1 (Moore 83) Edinburgh City 1 (Macrae 39) Attendance 563 After the game, some more admin is on the agenda for me. Firstly, I decide that with some wage budget to play with, I will add a coach for our U20s side. Former St Mirren stalwart Hugh Murray is tabbed and for £45 will take responsibility for coaching our kids. Next up, 2 more trialists arrive. Journeyman Andrew Barrowman is a striker who has seen action for no less than 11 clubs, and at 32yrs old might still have something in the tank. The other trialist is more surprising. When my scout suggests a former Bilbao player, I am both surprised and delighted. It turns out though that Adrian Mallagaray spent 1 year at Bilbao before disappearing from football for 5 years, only to reappear in the somewhat less glamorous surroundings of Montrose. The 24yr old looks like he is not up to much but I will give him a chance based purely on the Bilbao connection! Heading out of the club is Grant Vanson, the 23yr old midfielder is surplus to requirements and moves back to the junior ranks with Cumbernauld Colts. There was no time for more business before we welcome 3rd place Forfar to Meadowbank Edinburgh City v Forfar Athletic Dunmore comes in for the suspended McAusland at RWB and Josh Walker picked up a knock in training meaning Gielty comes into midfield. Up front , I decide to throw Trialist Barrowman in from the start in place of the ineffectual Lewis Allan. It took just 3mins for us to create a real chance, but sadly Barrowman blasted it high and wide from inside the box. Even more sadly, it was the last chance we would create for a while as Forfar slowly took over. We suffered a blow on 31mins when Macrae had to go off injured, and Ouzy See came on in his place. We suffered a further blow just 2mins later when Peters headed Forfar into the lead. it was deserved as we were very much under the cosh. At HT I had seen enough. We were struggling mightily to get any foothold and I changed things around to go 4411, hauling off Barrowman for Paul Brown in the process. The change seemed to have little effect and with 30mins remaining i decided to change things again and go 442, bringing on Craig Beattie for a rare appearance. Within 60 seconds we were level! Beattie had no part in it though, as Gielty played in Ouzy See for his first goal since returning from injury. It was ill deserved, as it was only our second shot on target but i was not complaining! It was also to be our last shot on target as we spent most of the last 27mins camped in our own half holding on grimly. But hold on we did. A point against a team above us in the league is no disgrace. Edinburgh City 1 (See 63) Forfar 1 (Peters 33) Attendance 580 After the game comes the news that Macrae is out for 3 weeks having dislocated his jaw. A further blow to us as the attacking options conintue to rotate and cycle. With still 2 weeks to go in the transfer window, it is time to make a firm decision on the tactical direction of the club.
  6. So before we move into January, League table as at the end of December showing us in 4th place, which is the final playoff spot. We are only 6 pts clear of 9th which is our minimum aim. | Pos | Inf | Team | Pld | Won | Drn | Lst | For | Ag | GD | Pts | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 1st | | Annan | 17 | 7 | 7 | 3 | 17 | 10 | 7 | 28 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 2nd | | Clyde | 17 | 7 | 6 | 4 | 19 | 14 | 5 | 27 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 3rd | | Elgin City | 17 | 4 | 11 | 2 | 23 | 19 | 4 | 23 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 4th | | Edinburgh City | 17 | 5 | 8 | 4 | 17 | 13 | 4 | 23 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 5th | | Forfar | 17 | 4 | 10 | 3 | 14 | 14 | 0 | 22 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 6th | | Berwick | 17 | 6 | 4 | 7 | 13 | 19 | -6 | 22 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 7th | | Arbroath | 17 | 3 | 12 | 2 | 14 | 12 | 2 | 21 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 8th | | Stirling | 17 | 3 | 9 | 5 | 9 | 10 | -1 | 18 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 9th | | Montrose | 17 | 3 | 8 | 6 | 14 | 16 | -2 | 17 | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | 10th | | Cowdenbeath | 17 | 2 | 7 | 8 | 16 | 29 | -13 | 13 |
  7. Thanks - appreciate the kind words
  8. December 2016 The month starts with an always enjoyable trip to Arbroath. The Red Lichties are mid table but Gayfield is never an easy place to go, not least because it's always a howling gale. Arbroath v Edinburgh City After the impressive result again Cowdenbeath, I decide to name an unchanged side. The first half hour was a scrappy affair, as both teams struggle to string passes together. We create half chances for See and for Laird, but Arbroath also force Quinn into a good save with a long range effort. The half ends goal less with little to warm the freezing 61 fans who followed us up from Edinburgh. 2 mins into the second half we suffer a blow as Ouzy See has to go off with what looks a fairly serious knee injury. Nisbet comes on in his place and within minutes is presented with a good chance 15 yards out, which he blasts so high and wide it nearly ends up in the North Sea. From there, the injury seems to knock us off stride as Arbroath take hold of possession but don't threaten our goal much. With 11mins to go and 2 more subs made, we get a strong chance to snatch the game when Arbroath are reduced to 10men after a second booking for Hodge. Sadly we do little to take advantage and have only one late pot shot before the ref blows to confirm the nil nil Arbroath 0 Edinburgh City 0 Attendance: 641 After the game, we get the bad news that Ouzy See has strained his knee ligaments and will miss 6 or 7 weeks. The big man has been hot and cold, but is easily our top scorer and losing him is a blow. Before our next game I deal with the admin of contract renewals, with many of the current squad agreeing to extend by a year on similar, or in some cases slightly less wage. Ouzy See, Coll McCallum, Connor Quinn, Chris McKee, Mo Yaqub, Allan Walker and Marc Laird are those first team members who I have decided to extend. Others may get extensions as the season goes on. One notable name missing from the list is our star man Josh Walker. Josh is already our highest earner and he won't budge from wanting a 50% pay rise to stay on, which is far more than the chairman will allow me to offer. As it stands we may lose Josh after just one season at Meadowbank. As I prepare for our next game, I need to consider how to replace See. Scouring the freebie market I offer trials to ex Ross County man Stevie Ross, who has 20 SPL appearances under his belt although his career record of 1 goal in 46 games is not inspiring, and to ex Dunfermline youth James Thomas. Edinburgh City v Stirling Albion For the visit of the bottom half Binos, I throw trialist Stevie Ross right into the side in place of the injured See in an otherwise unchanged line up. The first half hour is painfall watching as the game is niggly and ref is constantly on the whistle. No fewer than 22 fouls in the first half suggest that the players are more interested in kicking each other than the ball. Albion are clearly the better side, testing our keeper on 4 occasions whilst we can muster just a single headed attempt on target from Allan. After delivering a firm message at HT that I expect better, I am left shaking my head as the second half starts in much the same way, lots of fouls and no good build up by us. After an hour I hook Ross and replace one trialist with another as Thomas comes on. It makes no difference as we manage just 1 more attempt on target in the game, a long shot by Marc Laird which is easily saved. Stirling have slightly more including an absolute sitter, but we hold on for a second consecutive stalemate. Edinburgh City 0 Stirling Albion 0 Attendance 596 After another dour draw, I send the lads off home with the message that we will be working more on the attacking side of things in training in the week to come, as we attempt to get back on the goal trail when make the journey west to Broadwood in a week's time. Clyde v Edinburgh City Coming into this Clyde sit equal with us on points and have edged ahead of us into 2nd place on goal difference. This was obviously a tough assignment. Looking round the squad, I make a bold decision for this game. We have a number of players who have not had much game time and I decide to make no fewer than 6 changes to rotate some of these in. Both trialists start together up front. By 20mins in I am starting to second guess that team decision, as Clyde are over running us. We keep them out but never get near testing there keeper. 2 long shots go miles wide to at least give us a break from defending. On 41mins the pressure tells as Murray puts Clyde into a deserved lead. At HT i try to encourage the boys. I feel that I am partly responsible here with my team selection. After 6mins of no possession in the second half, I make 3 changes including removing both trailist strikers who look woefully off the pace. The changes seem to do little other than cause us to start picking up bookings all over the place. On the hour mark I try to change things up by moving to a 4411 shape rather than 352, but it only makes us worse. We register not a shot on target and on the 86min the 6th of our yellows is Josh Walker's second and off he goes. The game is capped off when Murray scores his second with 2mins to go. Dire. After the game I litteraly say not a word to the lads. I am lost in thoughts of selection errors and ineffective tactics. Clyde 2 (Murray 41, 88) Edinburgh City 0 Attendance: 559 With one final game left in 2016, I hope we can remind ourselfs where the goal is. Our final fixture of the year see's us jump on the train down to the borders to face Berwick Berwick Rangers v Edinburgh City For the trip to Shielfield I restore most of our first choice 11, with Dougie Gair in for the suspended Josh Walker and Stevie Ross making a 3rd start as a trialist striker. I hoped that the restoring of our first 11 would spur us into a more fighting performance. Boy was I wrong. By half time, I am freezing cold and utterly fed up. We muster not a shot on a target again, and only 1 shot of any description. Berwick are all over us and it takes an excellent performance by Connor Quinn between the sticks to keep up level. At the half I haul of Stevie Ross and immediately slip him £20 for the train home - His woeful time as a trialist for us is over. Throughout the second half we huff and puff a bit more, but run out of puff before we get near the Berwick goal. Luckily we produce a very good defensive performance in the second half to mostly protect Quinn. The introduction of youth, in Gielty, and experience, in Beattie for the last 20mins makes no difference. The full time whistle goes on yet another stalemate and woefully, we have failed to register a shot on target for the second successive game. In the dressing room I lay into the team. This is not good enough, and changes will be made. Berwick Rangers 0 Edinburgh City 0 Attendance 471 As we make the train journey home, I ponder over my can of Tennents and Tunnocks Caramel Log whether I am being too harsh on the team. Yes, we are struggling but in the overall picture we end the year 4th in the league, in a playoff spot, and we were expected to finish bottom and maybe scrape 9th place. Am I expecting too much? Much to deliberate, but first, its New Years Eve and a circus themed night out to be had down the shore. Looking around the carriage at my strikers, I wonder if they started the festivities a bit early. Bunch of clowns....
  9. November 2016 We started November with a third away game in a row, this time to Montrose who were down in 9th, but our confidence is low. Montrose v Edinburgh City As we gathered for the bus trip down to Montrose, I informed the lads it was time for a tactical change. Most were supportive, although some a little less so when I announced were going to try out a continental 4312 shape. A few were whispering that I had spent far too much time playing Football Manager, but I took no notice, we were going for it. The change of shape meant some changes to the starting 11. Gielty and Dunn both coming in for rare starts. Our new shape seemed to confused our opponents for a while, as we enjoyed good possession throughout the first half, but in a very familiar story, we were not sharp in front of goal. The few half chances we did create were wasted and the Half Time whistle was a relief to everyone watching this game. As the second half wore on, Montrose started to take control more and more. Our new shape looked a bit clunky and we were not fluent, Montrose had a few chances but nothing dramatic and we failed to properly trouble there keeper. Late changes in personell did nothing to change the game and it ended another drab nil nil. Another game where we failed to find the net Montrose 0 Edinburgh City 0 Attendance 504 We still clung on to second in the league, but after the game and on the bus home I chatted to Ross about the new tactic and we agreed that whilst it had been worth a try, perhaps something more orthodox was called for in our next match, at home to League leaders Annan. Edinburgh City v Annan Athletic The players seemed somewhat relieved when I announced that we would play a more othordox 4411 formation today. Craig Beattie was recalled to be the lone striker, with the idea being that he would act as a strong hold up type, with 17yr old Gielty playing in behind. Our lack of natural wingers meant wingbacks playing wide, but I felt this would keep us solid. The first 20mins were pleasing as we took hold of the game and played in a controlled manner, having much more possession and creating some opportunities. Annan looked dangerous on the break but on 28mins we got the breakthrough. A Gielty Free kick from deep found Craig Beattie who slammed home. We had worked on attacking set pieces in training so it was pleasing to get a goal from one. After the goal a little complacency seemed to creep in as Annan came back into it and we couldnt even hold out to HT. A free kick from Annan was flicked on and a headed goal resulted At half time i felt like i was just saying the same things. I encouraged them, tried to not get down about throwing away another lead. The second 45mins was just about the least eventful of our season. We continued to have massively more possession but neither side mustered a shot on target before the game was up, despite my attempts to add fresh legs. Edinburgh City 1 (Beattie 28) Annan Athletic 1 (Krissian 43) Attendance 569 A draw against the league leaders was no disgrace but it left me in a tactical quandary. The change of shape had yielded lots of possession, but our squad was built around 352. I needed to think about the approach for the next few weeks, and took myself off to one of the cozy bars down by the Shore in Leith with my laptop to scratch out some ideas before we welcomed Cowdenbeath in our next game. Edinburgh City v Cowdenbeath After much deliberation, I made the call to go back to 352 today. Cowdenbeath are rooted to the bottom of the league so it is a great chance to get back to winning ways. I also made the call not to start Beattie despite his goal last week. I feel See and Allan are still the best 2 strikers we have so will start them together. Not many decisions have worked out well for me lately, but when Allan set up See in 11 mins and he slotted home, I was feeling rather pleased with that last decision. 12 mins later when Allan converted a cross from Bowers, I was verging on smug. Truth be told, it was an even first half, but we had got back amongst the goals. I praised the team at HT, and better was to come after the interval. On 55mins Allan slotted in his second from a poor punch by the keeper and just 3mins later young WB Bowers scored from a very similar situation. We were cruising. Unfortunately we gave away a badly defended goal to lose the clean sheet, and there was time for Allan to hit the underside of the bar as he chased a hatty before the full time whistle sounded. Edinburgh City 4 (See 11, Allan 23, 55, Bowers 58) Cowdenbeath 1 (Muirhead 74) Attendance 678 Back to winning ways, and very much back in the goals. It was the easiest fixture we would have for a while but still, I carried a smile back down Leith Walk with me after the game. With that, our games for November come to an end as we have an off week to end the month. A short month and we go undefeated, hopefully a sign we are returning to form. Before the month comes to a close however, I decide to line up some transfer business. I feel we still look very shaky at the back. Firstly I agree to sell my 6th choice DC Harrison to East Stirlingshire for nothing but a phone call. In his place, I recruit former Scotland International Garry Kenneth. Gary's career has been in a downward spiral for some time now, but he has been playing well for Selkirk in the junior ranks and looks like he might still have something about him. He will join us on 2nd January. Finally, I agree a deal to give away Calum Antell to Cove Rangers. Calum has been unhappy as backup so I let him move on. I will need to look into a backup keeper from January, which is on my to-do list as we tick over into December
  10. October 2016 We start the month with a visit from Arbroath, which I hoped could spark our strikers again. Edinburgh City v Arbroath I brought back Joe Mbu to give some leadership and steady the defense, and up front I gave a rare appearance recently to Ryan Nisbet as I kept trying to find a partnership which could click. The early signs were good as we created a few good half chances in the first 30mins whilst Arbroath couldn't get a shot in. Things swung even more our way on 31mins when Arbroath lost Scott to a second booking. An hour against 10 men! Surely we would fill our metaphorical boots? Not for the last 15mins of the first half as they dug in and we resorted a bit too much to long shots. After some HT encouragement, we started the second half a bit slowly, looking a little complacent. For the first time this year, I chose not to make any subs as we continued to totally dominate. Arbroath had 1 shot at goal in the 90mins. We had 16. The game ended 0 v 0. I fumed at the players in the dressing room after the game. We can't be failing to score against 10 men! A few looked bemused as we are still massively exceeding expectations overally, but we are starting to hit a rut. Edinburgh City 0 Arbroath 0 Attendance: 632 Our next game was also at home, this time to Elgin who would make the long journey south. Unfortunately in training building up to the game, we suffered 2 significant injury blows. Joe Mbu pulled up with a hamstring injury which would keep him out for 3 weeks, and the very next day Craig Beattie pulled his calf, which would also keep him out for 3 weeks. A lot of experience to lose Edinburgh City v Elgin With Mbu out, Frazer Patterson steps into the back 3 and up front it was Lewis Allan's turn to partner See. There were worrying signs early when Elgin missed an absolute sitter inside 10mins. Unfortunately we failed to heed the warning and on 21mins Shane Sutherland slotted in from a cross to leave us behind. I was shouting and screaming on the touchline but we were struggling and although we had a few efforts, never really troubling the keeper. When we started the second half in the same vien, i got angry. On 58mins I brought on Nisbet and young Gielty, going to my more attacking 3412 shape. Within 12mins that idea was shot to bits when Marc Laird stupidly picked up a second yellow, to leave us down to 10. I had no choice but to stay attacking and leave us short in the middle. The risk almost worked quickly. On 77mins Gielty was played clean through on goal, I was up on my feet......and he sliced it wide. The language on the bench is not repeatable, but safe to say the youngster was not in my good books. A few mins later though, he was bailed out by his fellow sub. A long ball from Yaqub put Nisbet through and he slotted in to draw us level. I decided to bolt the door and take the point with 10 men and we held on Edinburgh City 1 (Nisbet 84) Elgin 1 (Sutherland 21) Attendance 572 After the game I told the lads that it was a good job to come back with 10 men and let them have Monday off, as we were starting to look tired as a bunch. We dont train full time but it felt like not training the Monday night would give the lads a chance to refresh (or with this lot, have a few refreshments....) Next up for us was a third home game in a row, this time against Clyde. Edinburgh City v Clyde With Laird suspended, Dougie Gair came in for a rare start in midfield. I decided to keep with the See / Nisbet partnership upfront. A first half punctuated by lots of fouls and some truly horrific passing by both sides had me tearing my hair out on the touchline. We looked off the pace and although it was a bad game, Clyde looked the more likely. A kick up the backside at HT was needed. The hairdryer at HT was ineffective, as were my 3 subs around the our mark as we struggled to make any headway. Eventually, with the last kick of the ball Clyde snatched a crazy lucky winner. A defensive clearance cannoned off a Clyde player and acted like a through ball, putting them in on goal and of course the way our luck is going, it was never going to be missed. At FT i slumped on the bench. We got what we deserved here. Somehow we reamain second in the league but I cannot help but be worried by our recent form and performances. I did not say much to the team, letting Ross do the talking. I had thinking to do. Edinburgh City 0 Clyde 1 (McLennan 90+3) Attendance 556 On Monday morning I arrived early and refreshed. It was time to start addressing this mess. Firstly, I had noted interest in another couple of my unwanted players. RW MacDonald agreed to join Gretna 2008 on a free, and in the most bizarre move of the year, my unwanted 3rd choice Keeper Stobie was snapped up on a free by......Premier League Kilmarnock! I was not going to say no, but no idea what they see in a 25yr old career Juniors player. With those deals arranged, I had freed up some wage budget. I felt like the squad would benefit from a new face, and whilst a striker was my first thought, as i thumbed the scouting reports delivered to me I was drawn to Kyle McAusland. The 23yr old came through the Rangers academy and played regularly last year in the Championship for Alloa. He is versatile, but looked well suited to my RWB slot as he has a real tendency to get forward. A deal for £130 a week was agreed quickly making him our 4th highest earner, but I felt he was worth it for the upgrade. Kyle would be immediately available for the upcoming game, which was our Scottish Cup 2nd round tie away to Stirling. Stirling Albion v Edinburgh City McAusland came right into the starting line up along with Lewis Allan as we hoped to get our form back. It took only 2 mins for us to get going, Josh Walker was clipped as he ran into the box, and we had a penalty! Allan Walker stepped up and made no mistake. We were off and running! Stirling roared back at us but we held firm and created another very good chance for See just before HT which he missed, as is his current confidence. I encouraged the team at HT to go on and finish the job. Stirling came at us again after HT as i expected, but we weathered the storm and created some half chances of our own. Unfortunately on 64mins we conceded a free kick in a dangerous area, and Wright smashed it in the top corner. I made 3 changes quickly as I wanted fresh legs to try and kick on and win the game, or at worst force a replay at home. It looked like we would until a horrific error by Allan Walker on 84mins gifted Albion a winning goal. We had nothing left to fight back with and we were out of the cup. Strong words were exchanged in the dressing room after the game. This manager malarkey was not supposed to be this hard! We are now winless in our last 5 games and a great start to the season seems so long ago. Stirling Albion 2 (Wright 64, McLaren 84) Edinburgh City 1 (A Walker 3(pen)) Attendance: 465 Before our next game, I called the lads together midweek to have a meeting. I let them know that I felt our form had dipped, but we should not let our heads drop. We were capable of better with this group and I was confident we could lift things. The message went across well and the team all agreed we can improve. Spirits were high we parted for the final time before meeting up for the bus trip to our next game at Fofar. Forfar Athletic v Edinburgh City I made a couple of big calls for this game. In goal, I decided to give Calum Antell a start. Calum had been complaining again about a lack of game time, and Quinn had conceded a few soft goals lately. Joe Mbu also returns from injury and starts. We were sluggish for the first half hour and Forfar looked more lively, albeit they were resorting to a lot of shots from distance. A full first half looked like providing no goals. until 5mins before HT when Ouzy See got on the end of a Josh Walker pass and curled home a nice left footed finish. I was pleased for Ouzy who had seen his form dip lately. Half time was a positive dressing room atmosphere and although Forfar were shooting a lot, they were from far out and I felt like we could end this winless streak. My optimism was misplaced. On 62mins one of the long shots hit a helpless Joe Mbu and deflected into the net. I let out an audible sigh on the bench and looked to the sky. Somehow I just knew how this was going to end. On 77mins i made a treble change, including removing Lewis Allan who has completely forgotten where the goal is. His replacement was Nisbet. With 5mins to go Nisbet had a part to play in the winner. Not a part I was pleased about. From a long keepers kick, he inexplicably headed the ball powerfully back towards our goal, acting as the perfect through ball for Swankie to score the winner and send my anger level through the roof. Forfar Athletic 2 (Mbu o.g. 62, Swankie 85) Edinburgh City 1 (See 39) Attendance 613 IT was a long coach journey home as I reflected on our current situation as October comes to a close. We had played 5 games this month without a win. 2 draws and 3 defeats. overall, we now had 1 win in our last 9 games. We had not scored 2 goals in a game since the end of August. Somehow, we are still second in the league but things are so close that the dreaded 9th place is only 6pts away. I spent a long time thinking in the days which followed and came to the conclusions that to get out of this slump, I needed to make a change. Our current tactical approach served us well in August, but we cannot just stick with it indefinitely when things are not going well. I needed a "plan B"
  11. September 2016 As the transfer window slammed shut, I spent the day watching the action on SSN since I had no intention of doing any business, and very little wage room to do anything anyway. I was relatively content with my squad and looking forward to another good month. First up was the matter of a challenge cup game against Celtic U20s to be played at Lennoxtown Celtic U20s v Edinburgh City I made the decision to use this fixture to give a run out to several fringe members of the squad, making no fewer than 8 changes as I attempted to keep the squad fit and happy. Things did not start well as we went 1 nil down early to a goal by P J Crossan and thoughout the first half we struggled to assert ourself, with just a couple of pop shots from distance. At the half I told the lads that the pressure was off and left things the same tactically and personell wise. The second half was no better as Celtic were rarely out of first gear in honesty. I freshened things up with 15 to go but the 2 i brought on, Vanson and Guthrie are also on the very fringes of my squad and they had little impact and the game ended in defeat. I was not overly worried on the journey home as the competition was not a priority for me or for the club. Celtic U20s 1 (Crossan 5) Edinburgh City 0 Attendance: 620 I was looking forward to getting back to league business with the relatively short trip across to Stirling to face the beanos. Before we departed, Calum Antell pulled me aside to inform me that he was not happy with his playing time. I let him know in clear terms that he was new to this place and that playing time was earned, not given away. He seemed to take it ok for now..... Stirling Albion v Edinburgh City I restored most of my first choice 11 for this game, with Lewis Allan getting the nod to partner the prolific Ouzy See up front. The first 45mins were even but uninspiring. It was in many ways a typical lower league game with plenty of effort but little quality. At HT i gave the lads some encouragement and made a slight tactical tweak in asking my wingbacks to get a bit further forward. The talk and tweaks made no difference, nor did sending on Ross Gutherie for the last 27mins and we played out a dour nil nil draw. Stirling Albion 0 Edinburgh City 0 Attendance: 630 I was not too disappointed with an away draw, but felt that my strikers were not firing over the last 2 games. None the less, after a goal filled August i was not getting too worried to early. We had a home fixture to look forward to next as we tried to get back to winning ways Edinburgh City v Montrose Despite my slight scoring concerns I stuck with 10 of the same 11, bringing Mo Yaqub back in at LWB. After another horrifically dull 45mins, I gave the lads a bit of a rollicking at half time and told them to deliver something for the fans. Before we went back out our Physio gave me the bad news that keeper Connor Quinn appeared to have injured his finger and would be best to come off. I got Calum Antell on and Connor was taken off for an x-ray to see if his finger was broken. As the second half wore on and we continue to create little, but also give away little, I decided it was time to attack a bit more. I brought on young Marc Gielty to play as a number 10, sacrificing a more defensive midfielder and told the lads to go all out for it. At the same time I brought on Ross Gutherie up front. With 9mins to go we surged forward and Ouzy See delivered a cross from the left which Gutherie ran onto and smashed home from 7 yards. I was delighted and immediately told the guys to shut up shop and hold the lead, which we did with some ease. Back on the win trail! Edinburgh City 1 (Gutherie 81) Montrose 0 Attendance 577 After the game we received the good news that Connor Quinn had not broken his finger and would be fine and fit for our next game, which would be a trip to Dumfriesshire to play Annan. Annan Athletic v Edinburgh City Despite the win, I made a few changes for this game. I continued to cycle through different combinations in our back 3, as no one performer was standing out and all looked mistake prone. Dunsmore also rotated in at RWB and Gutherie was rewarded for his goal by getting a start. After the no familiar dull and goalless first half which featured a couple of good chances for Annan and little of note for us, I lost my cool at the team and gave them a bit of a kick up the backside as I sent them out. For a few mins it seemed to work as we started the half brightly but we were not retaining the ball up top. I took off Gutherie on 58mins and sent on Lewis Allan, but it did not help and on 69mins we fell behind after some poor defending. I asked the team to play more attacking and direct, sent on Marc Gielty again for Allan Walker and put him in the #10 hole. It immediately had an effect as we created 2 great chances in the last 15 mins, both of which Ouzy See made a hash off, then had one final chance in injury time which Allan blasted into the stands. Annan Athletic 1 (Smith 69) Edinburgh City 0 Attendance 503 On the journey back I got the coaching staff together. Our sudden lack of bite in attack had me worried and I asked them to start focus sing the limited training time we do have onto the attacking part of our game. Before the month ended I had some admin to deal with. A couple of our players who were unwanted and dumped in the stiffs were suddenly attracting interest, even though the transfer window was closed! RW MacFarlane was subject of a free transfer request from Nuneaton, which I was happy to accept and quickly agreed terms, and despite the window being closed was given dispensation to complete the move (No idea why!) I also had a bid for LW Gibson from junior side Civil Service, as long as i woud pay £30 of his £100 wage they would take him on from January, which I also accepted and had agreed. This gave me some free wage money and I resolved to look through some scouting reports before our next game. As I reflected on September, it had been a bit of an up and down month with just the 1 win, and we were down to 2nd in the table. We also did not feature at all when the end of month awards were being dished out, but overall I had to be pleased with how the first 2 months had gone! Bring on October!
  12. Yup just wanted to that I read this from the start a month or so, and been keeping up with the updates ever since. Great reading and sounds like a brilliant fun career. Inspired me to try my own hand at writing as well.