crouchaldinho

Britain and India Challenge

396 posts in this topic

Taifun - National Football League season 2012/13 - New Delhi Heroes - Christmas update

Well, it's been tough, and we're just about where we were supposed to be at this point, 9th place with 4 points ain't much to brag about, but I'm still happy. We're rarely outplayed (like Pune was) and we took a point off 4th place JCT while beating fellow relegation candidates ONGC 3-0. We create chances and score against most sides (except East B.) and there's actually some talent around.

Some of the better ones:

Franky Das - 16yo goalkeeper signed on a free, fantastic handling and reflexes, but slightly lacking physically (yet). The AM is raving about him though, saying he's already a leading NFL keeper, with the potential to far exceed his current ability.

Surojit Rai - 17yo Bhopal left winger signed on a free. Outstanding mentally and potentially a fine technician. 4 assists in his first 6 league games proves he's got something.

Obinna Musa - 20yo Nigerian striker who I find a bit on the selfish side, but four goals in eight is a decent enough contribution from the kid who signed on a free from Dempo, where he scored seven in eighteen last season.

Rakesh Dhaubanjar - 20yo Nepalese international winger signed for €1K from Pune FC. The typical winger, quick, light on his feet, falls over easily :-)

Sanjeev Kumar Maria - 32yo centreback who was alreaduy at the club. Slower than George Bush, but one of the rare cases of Indian defenders who can actually jump and head the ball.

And then there's David Bikim, but you all know about him. 30 years old now, but still has it.

East Bengal are running away with the league again, this will be their fourth win in five seasons. The funny (or maddening) thing about it is their first eleven contains three of my prospects from United. Oh, what could have been....

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I was waiting for something like this icon_smile.gif

mebbe I'll have a go but having already achieved world domination with Dempo on 07 after 14 mind rending seasons (had to wait for the regens icon_wink.gif) there may not be too much impetus icon_frown.gif

IRL has Barreto been cleared? That dude from Churchill kicked butt, but let us see.

Good to see Hamara Hindustan in the forums icon14.gif

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Originally posted by crouchaldinho:

I am growing to love Indian football though

somehow i find it so infuriating. You watch a couple of matches at the Ambedkar and you'll know what I mean. icon_cool.gif

Nehru Cup my foot!! icon_mad.gif

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Originally posted by milanfan_apoorv:

mebbe I'll have a go but having already achieved world domination with Dempo on 07 after 14 mind rending seasons (had to wait for the regens icon_wink.gif)

When you say you 'had to wait for the regens', what do you mean?

I'm probably being really naive here but how do they work?

I presume that what you mean is that as you were more successful and you improved youth & training facilities, the players that were coming through were improving?

Is that the way it is programmed into the game? It would be good if it is because then we all have a really excellent chance of improving Indian football.

C.

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Originally posted by taifun:

Taifun - National Football League season 2012/13 - New Delhi Heroes - Christmas update

Keep at it Taifun - if you keep them up then you will earn extra respect from me. icon14.gif I found it almost impossible to keep them up.

I reckon anyone who starts with a 500 reputation team (i.e. Amity Utd, New Delhi Heroes or ONGC) and keeps them up deserves a round of applause! Nightowl is doing a terrific job with ONGC. icon14.gif Well done mate! icon_smile.gif

I am progressing through my season slowly as usual. Three games gone in the league. I'm not giving anything away until my update. Needless to say that I am hoping for a less dramatic season this time around, i.e. no must win games for survival on the last day!

One thing I will say is that Mumbai's reputation has not changed at all. They are one of the 1000 reputation teams (see the first page for the listings). Everyone is favourites to beat me and I am still predicted to finish in a relegation spot, despite the heroics of last season!

Ah well, takes the pressure off I guess. Apart from the spiralling out of control debts, which the board are unhappy with, and which put the pressure right back on of course! icon_biggrin.gif

C.

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Thought I'd give it a go.

Profile

Got one of the bigger teams: Mohammedan Sporting Club also known to their fans as The Black Panthers.

No staff at all, but I've found a few new ones. Can't find any fitness-, or GK-couch though? Have any of you experienced the same?

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Welcome to the challenge, Cletus. It's fun and frustrating all at the same time! As for coaches, I found similar issues at the beginning. The best unsigned coach had a goalkeeper coaching rating of 2, and I don't remember any decent fitness coaches. It does improve slightly later on.

I've had limited time lately to play, so here's a brief update of some major events occurring with my team prior to the 2011/12 season. As you can see, changes are afoot. A season report should hopefully come tomorrow.

Preseason 2011/12

A very eventful off season, a quick summary of players bought and sold to get everyone up to speed.

Players Out (first 2 sold by chairman):

Surajit Firoze, 250k + 20%, Mohun Bagan

Vijay Dias, 60k + 10%, SC Goa

Arun Sengupta (youth signed in first season, first team backup), 24k + 50%, Mohammedan

Plus several young players out of contract.

Sad to lose Firoze, I think he's one of the best (and most profitable) stop gaps I've ever signed. This is actually more than my chairman accepted for my former star Coutinho, makes me wonder how much we could have received for him. Dias never panned out, not really sorry to see him go.

Players In:

Saiful Islam Rahman, out of contract, George Telegraph

Shafiqul Hossain, 1k, East Bengal

Rahman is another attempt to find an extra striker, while Hossain appears to be a real steal. Very solid central defensive attributes, he was buried on the East Bengal bench.

As well, I received 4k + 12k over 24 months from the 30% sell-on from one of the 100k defenders my chairman sold previously. Sadly, he sold for only 55k. Nurul Rahman's sell on will also bring in 2k over the next 24, hardly a drop in the bucket.

Because of the chairman sales, the team balance on June 1 was 162877, by far the highest since I joined. I decided to embark on a plan to re-shape the team to improve finances even more, by trimming the squad, and trying to profit from any non-replaceable players. I think I have a good idea by now what kind of player I require, and its time to move out the surplus. The aim is to have a smaller squad of solid players, and hope injuries don't hit too hard. Dangerous, but I need to make this club some money.

In accordance with this plan, I sold Sunil Kumar Dora (AM C)for 65k + 10%, and Dinesh Pires (AM L) for 80k + 30%. Mohammed Oliveira (ST, 53k + 50%), and Surkumar Singh (D R, 150k) are leaving in October. Singh was a starter but fetched a high fee, while the other were youths developed earlier who hadn't managed to crack the first eleven. I've found that it is hard to get decent fees unless one of the big clubs is interested, so as soon as one of them comes looking, its time to sell the excess. My balance as of October 1, 2011 is 410701. Good, but I'm hoping for better.

I also signed a new contract until 2013 (determined to finish what I started).

In other off season news, Hardip Singh finally made the move from East Bengal to Europe, joining RC Lens for 300k plus clauses. I'm glad I don't have to face him anymore. I'm very interested in following his career, with an eye to the second part of the challenge.

Title odds this season were 8-1, at least the media is starting to show some respect. Season tickets went up to 118.

For the third consecutive season, I lost to East Bengal in the semi of the Federation Cup, and again lost the third place game. This is getting tiring. Does anyone know how they decide on the structure of the Federation Cup, is it drawn or set geographically or what? In the four years I've managed ONGC, I've met (or would have met, in one case) East Bengal in the semifinal.

As you can see, a busy off season. Hopefully everything doesn't blow up in my face. We'll see in my next update.

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Originally posted by crouchaldinho:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by taifun:

Taifun - National Football League season 2012/13 - New Delhi Heroes - Christmas update

Keep at it Taifun - if you keep them up then you will earn extra respect from me. icon14.gif I found it almost impossible to keep them up.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No respect earned then. We continued fighting for every point throughout the season, but everytime I thought we had it, we gave away a late goal. A desperate switch to a 3-4-3 late on didn't help either. I think I need to do a serious tactical rethink. My short-passing style ain't no good in the quagmire of the NFL lower reaches.

Considering what to do now, as both promoted sides (HASC and Indian Bank) already have managers, and none of the established sides seems to be even remotely interested in signing me. For now, I'm on holiday in the Maldives while my agent is looking for a new gig. Applied to Liverpool again for a laugh, Van Gaal only lasted 3/4 of a season, event though he was leading the premiership by a mile. A 0-3 thrashing by Real in the CL seems to have been too much. For some reason they wanted Thomas Schaaf rather than me....

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Originally posted by cletus:

Thought I'd give it a go.

Profile

Got one of the bigger teams: Mohammedan Sporting Club also known to their fans as The Black Panthers.

Welcome Cletus - good luck with your new side. icon14.gif

You have got a good club there with plenty of potential for building a great Indian side.

I hope you enjoy the challenge and good luck for your first season in charge!

C.

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Originally posted by Nightowl:

I decided to embark on a plan to re-shape the team to improve finances even more, by trimming the squad, and trying to profit from any non-replaceable players. I think I have a good idea by now what kind of player I require, and its time to move out the surplus. The aim is to have a smaller squad of solid players, and hope injuries don't hit too hard. Dangerous, but I need to make this club some money.

Good luck with your plan to sort the finances and trim the squad. It is a brave one indeed. icon14.gif

In my second season in charge at Mumbai FC, I have decided to do exactly the opposite. icon_biggrin.gif Well, you'll see when I do my end of season update.

I'm badly hoping that my attendances will suddenly improve. That could really solve my financial woes.

Does anyone know how attendances are worked out in FM? Is it all to do with club reputation?

I mean, Mumbai is the biggest city in India as far as I remember. The potential for attendances should be huge if the club is considered a big one.

I wonder if it is just a case of improving the club reputation and then maybe the fans will start coming and the finances will finally be sorted. That could be hard work though! icon_biggrin.gif

For the third consecutive season, I lost to East Bengal in the semi of the Federation Cup, and again lost the third place game. This is getting tiring. Does anyone know how they decide on the structure of the Federation Cup, is it drawn or set geographically or what? In the four years I've managed ONGC, I've met (or would have met, in one case) East Bengal in the semifinal.

I don't believe that there is a trend, however it might be based on league position or maybe seeded in some way? Perhaps it is just a coincidence? It's a crappy coincidence because East Bengal are unbeatable as far as I am concerned!

As you can see, a busy off season. Hopefully everything doesn't blow up in my face. We'll see in my next update.

I'm impressed by your hard work. Hopefully it'll be a good year of stabilising the finances and I hope that your performances don't suffer too much.

C.

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Originally posted by taifun:

No respect earned then. We continued fighting for every point throughout the season, but everytime I thought we had it, we gave away a late goal.

Stick at it Taifun - I'm sure your luck is about to change. Hopefully a decent job will come up for you, perhaps with one of the bigger sides. Like I said, starting with a 500 reputation team is really tough - I don't know how Nightowl pulled it off, he must be a tactical genius!

Plus, that first season at a newly promoted club is all about luck. Some seasons 14-15 points would keep you up, while other season you'd easily go down with that many points. Plus, getting that lucky result makes all the difference.

A desperate switch to a 3-4-3 late on didn't help either. I think I need to do a serious tactical rethink. My short-passing style ain't no good in the quagmire of the NFL lower reaches.

Yes, I would have a tactical rethink if I were you. I have been playing defensive, direct, counter-attacking football the whole time. I've used a few formations but I prefer to flood the midfield with 5 men and play 1 up front. I play awful football but I figure that I can adapt the style when I've settled in the division. The time for champagne football will come - I hope! Meanwhile, I've found a mixture of fast tempo counter-attack with pace up front to be very effective. If you can find yourself a target man, that would also be extremely useful in this division. Most of the defences are extraordinarily bad in the air.

Fingers crossed that a good job comes up for you in India.

C.

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Originally posted by crouchaldinho:

Yes, I would have a tactical rethink if I were you. I have been playing defensive, direct, counter-attacking football the whole time. I've used a few formations but I prefer to flood the midfield with 5 men and play 1 up front. I play awful football but I figure that I can adapt the style when I've settled in the division. The time for champagne football will come - I hope! Meanwhile, I've found a mixture of fast tempo counter-attack with pace up front to be very effective. If you can find yourself a target man, that would also be extremely useful in this division. Most of the defences are extraordinarily bad in the air.

Fingers crossed that a good job comes up for you in India.

C.

Yeah, I thought I had it figured at United, playing 4-5-1 short-passing, but that fell on its face from the third season on. Will try to rework this into something more direct.

Luck turned my way for once, and Indian Bank switched chairmen. I was hired on Oct 5, 11 days before the transfer deadline, and handed a €191K war chest, although the club is in the red. The transfer money turned out to be real this time, and I proceeded to retrieve as many of "my" starlets as I could. Not too many as it turned out, but enough to make me cautiously optimistic (I never learn...) Most notably I signed left winger Norbert Babu from United and in a real shocker, East Bengals starting striker Anwar Ahmed (ex-United) on a free. Ahmed already has four goals in three games for East B. and he scored 10 in 19 for United. My only regret is that David Bikim refused to sign a €150/week contract, holding out for twice that, way out of my already strained budget.

4th time's the charm.

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Now, I'm not going to start some sort of game-by-game commentary here, but needed to share this.

Oct 16 2013: Transfer window ends, Indian Bank having signed a metric sh*tload of players, including a few Indian U21

Oct 18 2013: Taifun redesigns his 4-5-1 into a counter-attacking underdog tactic

Oct 19 2013: Indian Bank visits Mahindra Utnited at The Cooperage having amassed one solitary point sporting a 3-10 goal difference.

01:00: India Boss Bobby Houghton and his wheel chair is spotted in the stands.

01:53: Indian Banks €75K record signing Norbert Babu cuts in from the left, looks up, and chips the keeper. 1-0 Indian Bank

11:00: Wadoo heads home a corner for Mahindra. 1-1

36:04: Babu snaps up a risky backpass and leave the goalie stranded. 2-1 IB!

73:17: Relentless Mahindra pressure finally pays off as Manjit Banneree floats past lumbering carthorse Beny Hhhhh and score. 2-2

84:00: Shafiqul Alam (€22K, Viva Kerala) picks up a rebound and sends all four Indian Bank supporters into hysteria. 3-2!

Statistics say chances were 13-4 for Mahindra. I say Scorpions played the Winds of Change on my stereo.

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Originally posted by taifun:

Beny Hhhhh

Thats a real cool name, pity it's a placeholder. His real name is Benoy Kunuvilla, and he's still a carthorse. A big and mean one though.

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I knew you'd be back for more punishment Taifun and it looks like you are bouncing back quite nicely! Great result! icon14.gif

Indian Bank ought to have a bit of money, you would imagine. I wonder what their supporters are like? Do you think they are all accountant types, coming to games in suits and judging your signings by their goals to current marketplace value ratio? icon_biggrin.gif

I do wonder whether football hasn't become really popular in India due to the commercial aspect of the game.

I mean, if your local team was called Air India, Indian Bank, Oil and Natural Gas Cooperation or Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club etc. etc. etc. - then how likely would it be that you had a passionate relationship with them?

Most communities build up a relationship with a football club because it represents their community in some way. I guess that isn't always true but for the most part it is.

I might be wrong - some of these institutionalised football clubs might be very popular.

Anyway, I'm hoping that you do well with Indian Bank - if you can beat Mahindra Utd, then you should pick up some points in the other games. Four more wins would see you safe for sure! Good luck!

C.

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Taifun - National Football League 2013/2014 - Indian Bank Sports and Recreation Club

Finally! A bit more direct football, and a club that actually has a transfer budget, and relegation was no longer a certainty. Actually we were in the running for 6th all the way into the last game, and we finished 10 points clear of the drop. HASC and JCT were so poor they should've been disbanded altogether.

The vital players were my three rush signings:

Norbert Babu - AM L - 11(1) apps 5 goals 8 assists 7.75 avg - €75K from United SC

Shafiqul Alam 9(1) - AM RC - apps 2 goals 3 assists 7.30 avg - $22K from Viva Kerala

Anwar Ahmed 13(2) - ST - apps 8 goals 1 assist 7.20 avg - €0 from East Bengal

Indian Bank U18s won the Youth Cup! talented academy winger Stanley Kumar scoring the winner in a 2-1 thriller with HASC

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">

13/14 Indian Bank 8th 18 5-3-10 31-43 -12 18

12/13 New Delhi Heroes 10th 18 1-3-14 21-52 -31 6

11/12 Pune FC 10th 13 1-1-11 10-36 -26 4

10/11 United Sports Club 9th 18 4-4-10 25-33 -8 16

09/10 United Sports Club 6th 18 6-8-4 32-30 +2 26

08/09 United Sports Club 6th 18 6-3-9 34-46 -12 21

</pre>

East Bengal won the league (five in six) and the Fed. Cup, Mahindra won the Durand and came 2nd in the league, a most impressive season for new manager Subhash Bhowmick.

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A bit of messing up there, oh well..

There's not much money in the Indian Bank apart from the initial transfer pot. I'm thinking they may be a sand bank rather than a finiancial institution.

@FM India Is there an effort to bring some more variety into staff names in India? There are too many Deys and Basumatarys and Das'es to be realistic. Or maybe that's how it is in India, I don't know?

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Taifun - I agree, the naming is extremely repetitive. I have so many players called Singh in my team! I think the lack of variety is a reflection of FM and certainly not of real life. The regens must have a limited amount of names to pick from, I guess.

Anyway, to the main point of your post, congratulations on staying up and exceeding expectations. icon14.gif

What sort of attendances are you getting with Indian Bank, out of interest?

I've been looking at other teams that play at the Cooperage, which is Mumbai FC's home stadium. Other teams playing here include Mahindra United, Air India and ONGC. None of these clubs are getting particularly high attendances. Even Mahindra United, who seem to be one of the 'big three' alongside East Bengal and Mohul Bagan. My attendances, by the way, are absolutely crap again this season.

It has got me wondering how attendances are worked out in the game. I wonder if I significantly improve the repuation of Mumbai FC, whether the attendance will grow to a reasonable enough level for my club to start making some money? icon_confused.gif

Mahindra United though, who like I said also play at the Cooperage, are of a similar reputation to East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, and yet they are getting no where near the same attendances. I wonder if it is worked out on a city basis? The population of Mumbai should mean that I have a huge potential fanbase.

Anyway, congrats again on your success Taifun !

C.

P.S. My season is moving slowly - I've only managed to fit in a game a day just recently, so I am only 5 league games into the season. Hoping to have a big session on Friday night, so hopefully will have another huge update for the weekend!

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Crouch

Average attendance was 1862 in the 40K Chennai stadium, with the East Bengal game being the biggest draw with 2315. Not nearly enough to compete, and I have no proper local rivals to bring in the crowds either, the closest one is Chennai Customs who finished third in the Chennai state league back in 2004. Somehow I don't see them promoted to the NFL.

Mahindra averaged only 697 this season, while Mumbai FC were lowest in the rankings with 450, even though they finished 2nd and 5th in the league respectively. This was Mumbai's 4th season at the top level, they've finished 10th, 6th, 8th and 5th while attendances have remained more or less static, topping out at 537 when finishing 6th.

Air India went down first season and haven't been seen since, but they averaged respectable 2981 that season. ONGC spent one season up in 12/13 averaging 613.

I really wonder what it would take to bring people to see Mahindra?

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Originally posted by taifun:

Crouch

Mahindra averaged only 697 this season, while Mumbai FC were lowest in the rankings with 450,

Yes, that's around about what I'm getting at the moment I think. It's depressing!

even though they [Mumbai FC] finished 2nd and 5th in the league respectively. This was Mumbai's 4th season at the top level, they've finished 10th, 6th, 8th and 5th while attendances have remained more or less static, topping out at 537 when finishing 6th.

Sounds like Mumbai FC have done quite nicely! If I can do the same with them, then I will be pleased!

I really wonder what it would take to bring people to see Mahindra?

Yes, it is really bizarre. Especially as they are one of the more successful sides.

I'm certainly look to stay long-term with Mumbai FC and win something if I can. However, it may well be better for me to jump ship to one of the Calcutta or Goa sides eventually, purely for the financial advantage. Otherwise it looks extremely difficult to dominate domestically and win the Asian Cup. At the moment, my chairman is quiet but we're getting deep into the red. Pretty soon we're going to be a selling club and the chairman is going to be selling over my head - I can tell it is coming soon.

C.

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Update from Mohammedan

3 months in India and it's been a very interesting start.

The Federation Cup went very well and the boys made it to the semi's, where SBT unfortunately ended the dream for the black panthers. Lost 1-0 in extra-time. Also the 3rd place playoff were lost to Churchill Bros. In previous rounds we won over Mahindra Utd and JCT. The board was very delighted.

After 6 games in the league, the results are as follows:

Home games - 3 won,

Away games - 2 losses, 1 draw.

That puts us in 4th place: Table

As for the attendances, I can't complain: Team stats

With an average around 36500, the finances are very solid. October month gave a good 31,3 million Rupees in gate receipts and the current balance lies at 55 million Rs.

Also an nervewrecking takeover was pulled out in september, as the Jalandhar consortium failed to agree a price with the club-director. There were rumours that the new consortium would hire a new manager!

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Very nice update Cletus and an excellent start to your campaign too.

Keep up the good work!

C.

P.S. Dead jealous of your attendances!

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Crouchaldinho This is a great idea for a challenge and I shall be watching all the progress with great interest. This will probably be the next challenge I attempt, if and when I finish Gundo's.

Good luck to all the participants.

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Originally posted by Razer82:

Crouchaldinho This is a great idea for a challenge and I shall be watching all the progress with great interest. This will probably be the next challenge I attempt, if and when I finish Gundo's.

Good luck to all the participants.

Cheers Razer82 ! icon14.gif

Look forward to you attempting the challenge. No doubt I will still be struggling in India by then! icon_biggrin.gif

Halfway through my current season lads. My end of season update will reveal all, of course. It's been a rollercoaster ride so far. But then it always is when I'm in charge, and not normally in a good way! icon_biggrin.gif

C.

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Having been reading this for a few days thought i would give it ago.

It is my first challenge, so go easy on me.

I also do not get that amount of time to play, so may not be able to post that much, Sorry...

Profile

Decided to go as Mohammedan for two reasons. They had a better squad than the other team (Vasco) and couldn't resist the 120,000 seater stadium.

Squad

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I'm quite excited to have you post to this thread! It sounds as though we have ourselves a resident Indian football expert!

Will you be taking on the challenge?

I take it you live in India?

To start off with, I would like to know who you support / who is your favourite team in India?

I have been reading a great deal about Indian football after creating this challenge and I know that the Indian leagues have gone through a major change to become the I-League - I believe this was the first season of the new format. I'm hoping that FM09 will reflect the new format more accurately as I am intending to run this challenge again for the new game.

I am currently studying the historical relationship between Britain and India for my postgraduate degree and that has played a big part in the creation of this challenge. I am hoping to visit India for the first time next year and I will have to go to a game of I-League football while I am there!

Incidentally, I notice that you have the Indianfootball.com website as your location - are you anything to do with that?

I think the Indianfootball.com website is excellent. I really like the intelligently written articles about Indian football that you can find there.

That sounds fantastic! Will you be going to the game?

Thanks for posting.

C.

Hey buddy,

Sorry for the late reply - work's been driving me crazy icon_frown.gif

Yes I live in Calcutta, and am working for SI as the Indian Head Researcher. I am a huge Mohun Bagan fan icon_cool.gif

Yup exciting times are here for Indian football. All new rules will most certainly be accurately represented in FM - for starters the no. of teams in the league have been increased to 12 for the new season. Even now, all rules, IRL are accurately represented in the game, though it is still known as NFL instead of I-League in the game.

You must come down here and get in touch - we'l go for the games together. I'll definitely be going for the Bayern game !

We work a lot on the site and positive feedback such as yours means a lot. We have been the only complete source on Indian football on the net for 10 years now, and we're very proud of it. Of course the common aim is to help the world realise that India is not just a cricketing nation as most people believe. And do whatever we can in our small little way to help India move up the rankings..

Cheers icon_smile.gif

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A bit of messing up there, oh well..

There's not much money in the Indian Bank apart from the initial transfer pot. I'm thinking they may be a sand bank rather than a finiancial institution.

@FM India Is there an effort to bring some more variety into staff names in India? There are too many Deys and Basumatarys and Das'es to be realistic. Or maybe that's how it is in India, I don't know?

Hi Taifun,

Thanks for the feedback. While you are right, the problem also is that there are 3 areas where football is most popular in India - the Northeast, Calcutta, and Goa.

Goa - thanks to Goa's history, several of the names are similar to Portuguese names - e.g. Rodrigues, Pereira, Fernandes, Afonso, Alemao, Barreto, Coelho etc

Kolkata - the home to Bengalis, names will invariably be Das,Dey,Bhattacharya, Banerjee, Ghosh, Chatterjee, Roy etc

NorthEast - particularly Manipur, where name will always end in Singh . e.g Renedy Singh, Bungo Singh, James Singh etc.

In several other areas, there is hardly any football played . e.g Gujarat (Shahs, Patels) or other states like Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh etc

Having said that Basumatary is a name restricted largely to Assam, and certainly should not be repeated too often!

Cheers

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Originally posted by sarge:

Having been reading this for a few days thought i would give it ago.

It is my first challenge, so go easy on me.

I also do not get that amount of time to play, so may not be able to post that much, Sorry...

Great to see you here giving it a go! icon14.gif

Don't worry about being a slow player. I'm really slow too but then I do have an MA to study for!

The idea of this challenge is that, due to the fewer amount of games in India, those with less time to play can get really involved and get to the end of seasons a bit quicker.

Don't worry about posting too much - just enjoy the challenge and let us know how you're getting on. icon_smile.gif

Decided to go as Mohammedan for two reasons. They had a better squad than the other team (Vasco) and couldn't resist the 120,000 seater stadium.

Good luck with the Black Panthers! icon_biggrin.gificon14.gif

C.

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Originally posted by FM_India:

Yes I live in Calcutta, and am working for SI as the Indian Head Researcher. I am a huge Mohun Bagan fan icon_cool.gif

Excellent - being head researcher must be really fun and rewarding.

I have just become FM researcher for my local team here in England - a Blue Square South side called St. Albans City. I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. icon_smile.gif

Yup exciting times are here for Indian football. All new rules will most certainly be accurately represented in FM - for starters the no. of teams in the league have been increased to 12 for the new season.

Excellent. I was planning to run this challenge again for FM2009 and so it is pleasing to know that the game will reflect the real life rules of the newly structured league.

You must come down here and get in touch - we'l go for the games together.

That is very kind of you. I will almost certainly take you up on that offer.

I haven't got any firm dates yet but I am planning to come next year for my first visit to India.

We work a lot on the site and positive feedback such as yours means a lot. We have been the only complete source on Indian football on the net for 10 years now, and we're very proud of it.

Yes, I think the website is terrific.

I posted the articles from your website somewhere earlier on this thread.

It is nice to see intelligent writing about football. I really enjoyed reading through them and learning about the game.

Of course the common aim is to help the world realise that India is not just a cricketing nation as most people believe.

Yes, it seems strange to me that there is a kind of ambivalence about football in India (from what I have read). On the one hand, you have very passionate fans of both Indian football and European football too. However, on the other hand, it seems that certain areas of India just haven't got the football bug yet.

One thing that I found interesting about the articles on Indianfootball.com was that they highlighted the technical abilities of the Indian players and suggested that it was the physical side of the game in which Indian footballers are weaker than other nations.

I haven't exactly found this reflected in FM. I wondered what you thought about this?

The other thing I noticed in the articles, is that the I-League, naturally, compares itself to other Asian leagues. In particularly, the J-league is mentioned a great deal as the footballing example that India must follow. So my question is, how far behind the J-league do you think Indian football is? Can you see it realistically improving to that kind of level?

And do whatever we can in our small little way to help India move up the rankings..

Yes and we all hope that we can push India up the rankings on Football Manager! icon_biggrin.gif

C.

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FM India - one more thing, what can you tell us about football rivalries in India? In other words, what teams really hate each other? Who really hates who?

Obviously this is reflected in FM but it is always nice to hear about real life rivalry.

Also, anything you can tell me about Mumbai FC would be interesting as I am managing them. I know that they are a brand new club launched only last year. Do you know how popular football is in Mumbai?

Sorry to overload you with questions!

C.

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Crouch,

I can help FM_India out, I'm Indian too icon_wink.gif

East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are massive rivals in Calcutta. EB used to be better but Bagan have been smacking them recently.

icon_smile.gif

Apart from that all the Goan clubs (Dempo, Vasco, Salgaocar, SC Goa, Churchill Bros etc.) hate each other. Nothing else really.

Mumbai FC has been the first fully professional club in India (dunno what that means though) and signed Abhishek Yadav as their star in the beginning. Their kit is yellow and they are not getting promoted next year, I think (A little help FM_I)

Started the challenge with Vasco, fantastic results will tell more later.

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Yes, it seems strange to me that there is a kind of ambivalence about football in India (from what I have read). On the one hand, you have very passionate fans of both Indian football and European football too. However, on the other hand, it seems that certain areas of India just haven't got the football bug yet.

One thing that I found interesting about the articles on Indianfootball.com was that they highlighted the technical abilities of the Indian players and suggested that it was the physical side of the game in which Indian footballers are weaker than other nations.

I haven't exactly found this reflected in FM. I wondered what you thought about this?

The other thing I noticed in the articles, is that the I-League, naturally, compares itself to other Asian leagues. In particularly, the J-league is mentioned a great deal as the footballing example that India must follow. So my question is, how far behind the J-league do you think Indian football is? Can you see it realistically improving to that kind of level?

Hey,

Well yes it is kind of strange in a way. I think the main fact is that football is massive amongst almost all the Indians-particularly the yongsters. However, most of them follow the Premiership, and know very little about Indian football. For e.g. the average urban school/college guy here will know who's leading in the Premiership, but will not be able to name even the Indian first 11 !! Sad, but true.

Indian football's popularity, like I mentioned earlier is restricted to Goa, Calcutta, North East, and Kerala.

Yes it's true that Indian players lose out physically as we are traditionally not as strong and tall as our European counterparts. (except north India where football is not as popular) Which is why Houghton has declared his first aim is to look for bigger guys. Of course most of the guys here have better technical abilities - but please remember, this still falls way short of European standards, which is probably why you feel it is not reflected in FM.

Well the Indian league is some way off the J-League to be honest. Talent is there- what we need is better infrastructure. However despite all the shortcomings, we don't fall too short of the smaller West Asian nations, who are probably among the strongest sides in Asia after the usual suspects (China,Japan,South Korea, Iran,Saudi Arabia, Iraq)

Please refer to ,

http://www.the-afc.com/eng/competitions/fixtures/index.jsp_AFCC-2008-489.html

the UEFA Cup of Asia. If you look at the current season, East Bengal and Dempo are not doing too badly against strong opposition . This considering that East Bengal got hammered in the league.

Cheers

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FM India - one more thing, what can you tell us about football rivalries in India? In other words, what teams really hate each other? Who really hates who?

Obviously this is reflected in FM but it is always nice to hear about real life rivalry.

Also, anything you can tell me about Mumbai FC would be interesting as I am managing them. I know that they are a brand new club launched only last year. Do you know how popular football is in Mumbai?

Sorry to overload you with questions!

C.

No issue mate I love answering these questions icon_biggrin.gif

As Apoorv points out, the biggest rivalry in India is East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. In fact this derby is among the fiercest in the world. Please refer http://www.indianfootball.com/team/headtohead.html

and

http://www.ultrabrown.com/posts/the-kolkata-derby

Also Mohammedan Sporting hates both these two!

Otherwise, JCT and Punjab Police have a healty rivalry in the North. Air India and Mahindra Utd are fierce rivals. In Goa, Dempo and Churchill always have good contests. Down south, Viva Kerala and SBT would be the local derby.

Mumbai FC has just been formed by the Essel Group, one of the largest media houses here. Sadly football is not as popular in Mumbai as it should be. Probably because it still does not boast of a good stadium. Shocking actually.

But Mumbai FC have of course just been promoted, and will prove to be a real challenge for the other sides.

Cheers

P.S - Apoorv where are you based ?

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Hey, thanks FM India and Milanfan_apoorv !

It was really interesting reading about the East Bengal and Mohun Bagan derby. It sounds very passionate. With such a huge stadium as well, I bet that it is an amazing atmosphere!

I think I will have to have a spell in charge of one of the big Calcutta sides at some point in my Football Manager career. First of all I have to try and win something with Mumbai FC!

As a student of history, it was very interesting to me to read about the contribution of Mohun Bagan in Indian nationalism and independence. I didn't know anything about this.

The biggest event in the club calendar is the Mohun Bagan Day. This is held on July 29, which is the day the football team lifted the IFA Shield for the first time in 1911 defeating the British. "Mohun Bagan is not a football team. It is an oppressed country, rolling in the dust, which has just started to rise its head" - said Achintya Kumar Sengupta in "Kallol Jug" magazine after the historic victory of 1911 IFA Shield.

I always find it interesting how football can become representative of so much more than just football.

Thank you both for taking the time to reply to my questions.

C.

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A very busy week for me, with little time to play (or follow this thread). I will try to get an update up this weekend. Just a few comments until then.

Like I said, starting with a 500 reputation team is really tough - I don't know how Nightowl pulled it off, he must be a tactical genius!

Thanks, but I doubt I could be considered a tactical genius. I've just learned to accept the limitations of my players and abandoned any thoughts of playing attractive football, instead going quick, direct, counter-attacking play. If I can ever find a big target man, however, I think he could dominate the poor defenders in this league.

I agree, the naming is extremely repetitive. I have so many players called Singh in my team! I think the lack of variety is a reflection of FM and certainly not of real life.

As far as I know, the Singh last name has some religious significance, and is actually extremely common (if anyone knows better, please feel free to correct this). I seem to remember this causing immigration issues for people attempting to come to Canada. I agree about the lack of variety, though.

Congratulations to taifun for his continuing adventures, and welcome to all the new users who have signed up.

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Get ready for the world's biggest update. This is HUGE! (my apologies, but once I get typing there is no stopping me!)

MUMBAI FC 2009/2010

Pre-season:

Last season had been a dramatic and historical one for a club that was only established in 2007 playing in the Indian National Football League for the first time. Mumbai FC had managed to stay up on the last day of last season thanks to an emphatic and unexpected 4-2 win over Salgaocar. Over the course of last season, Mumbai FC had deserved to stay up but had lost vital points in games when a win was both expected and a must. It was clear to me that over the summer there was serious work to be done. I would need to bring in new players, adding quality to the side, as well as allowing some of the players who were not good enough to play at this level to move on.

Felix Aboagye, last season’s top scorer with 10 goals, would see out his contract at the club after I was unable to find a buyer for him. At the age of 33, he had began to decline as a player and the physical side of his game was now a real problem. This season he would only play a bit part.

The spine of a new team would need to be build around two of our quality players, that is Rocus Lamare (23 year old Indian centre-back) and David Bikim (27 year old Cameroonian midfielder). There would be huge changes to the rest of the side in order to build for the future.

All in all, I wielded my axe in the most ruthless way, free transferring and selling 18 squad players, including both of last season’s full-backs and one of the starting XI centre-backs. This was mainly to free up the wage bill for some major signings. I made very little cash from these sales; only around £3k was recouped in total.

Despite incredible debts, my board rewarded me for my control of wages and allocated me a stonking £100k transfer kitty. I resolved to spend all of this in order to improve the football club and give the fans a side to be proud of.

It was a very busy summer of business for Mumbai FC as I bought in a total of 15 players for £92k in total. Considering the club’s debts, this was a huge gamble, but I felt that with the money spent wisely, Mumbai FC might be able to establish itself in the top half of the table.

For me, the two headline transfers of the summer for Mumbai FC were the signings of two Indian internationals from East Bengal.

Firstly, I blew £45k of the transfer funds on Gouramangi Singh, a 24 year old Indian defensive midfielder. With excellent mental and physical attributes, along with decent technical abilities, Singh looked every part the holding midfielder I wanted to build the midfield around. He would join the more attack-minded and technically gifted David Bikim in the middle of the park in what I imagined would be a superb and competitive midfield.

Secondly, Mumbai FC welcomed another technically gifted attacking midfielder to add to this duo in the form of Climax Lawrence. Climax has potentially the best name I have ever heard in the whole of football. He is also another solid midfielder, with abilities from set-pieces and excellent technical skills for this level. He had around 12 caps for India before signing and his experience was something I was hoping would really help the side. The only downside to Lawrence was his alleged dislike of the big matches, which I would have to keep an eye on.

With a midfield trio established, I then began to look to secure the defence. I was really excited with a new youth prospect called Agnelo Costa, 16 years of age, who plays at left-back. He was rushed into the first team before he could play a game for the U18s. I have high hopes for this youngster as he looks like a very good fullback already. With Lamare already established as our key centre-back, I added 29 year old Indian Mahesh Gawli to the defence for £12k from Dempo SC. Lamare has the height and with Gawli providing pace, I thought we had a pretty formidable defensive partnership.

Up front, I bought in Sushil Kumar Singh, a 25-year-old target man who is good in the air, on a free transfer. In addition to him, I signed another free transfer, Ashim Biswas an Indian 26-year-old pacey striker. With the young Nigerian, 19-year-old Ogundare, having matured since last season, we had an exciting attacking line full of talent.

Would these players be able to gel and play well together in the league? That was the question. My other problem was in choosing what system to play this side in. The three men in central midfield seemed obvious. The flat back four more obvious still. Having three quality strikers seemed to suggest that I should attempt a 4-3-3 formation. Target man, Sushil Kumar Singh, would drop deep and be supported by two pacey strikers in Biswas and Ogundare.

The starting XI would look like this:

GK Bhattacharya

DR Nayan

DL Costa

DC Lamare

DC Gawli

MCd Gouramangi Singh

MC Bikim

MCa Lawrence

FS Biswas

TM Kumar Singh

FS Ogundare

As a result of my experimentation, pre-season was a disaster. 6 games, 0 wins, 3 draws, 3 loses, all against mediocre competition.

We better do a lot better than this in the league!

Overall feeling about the season to come:

Despite a crap pre-season, I think we’ve got a side that can compete now. I see us easily staying up this season and I hope we can finish in a comfortable position well away from the drop.

Media prediction: 9th place

Chairman and fans: Fans and board want me to avoid relegation

Manager: For me, I think 7th or 6th place should be achievable this season

[b[ SEASON REVIEW [/b]

First up, the Indian Federation Cup, and this time around I had all of my pre-season signings in place before the October transfer window. In the preliminary round, we made hard work of beating United Sports Club 3-2, with a brace from Ogundare. Still, we were through to the quarters and that was very exciting! There we met with Mohammedan and goals from Climax Lawrence (I still can’t get over that name!) and Biswas gave us a fantastic victory.

All of this gave me a huge lift and I really went into the semi-final tie, in which we would meet East Bengal, feeling excited and optimistic. I need not have bothered getting excited as they wiped the floor with my new team. We lost 4-0. How embarrassing. icon_redface.gif

Despite this, the third place-playoff was won on penalties against JCT, giving us our very first placed finished in a competition. This was progress and I was very satisfied with early indications that the side could do well in the league this season.

Regrettably, we started the season off away to East Bengal. How depressing. So far, in my early managerial career in India, East Bengal have beaten my sides comprehensively 5-0, 4-0 and 2-0. The lads went out and tried their best, yet we lost yet again. This time it was a much more respectable 1-0 but it didn’t feel any better as they dominated. Not the best start of the season.

Things were about to get better though. Much better. Much much much better! How about a six game unbeaten run? First there was a nerve-wracking 1-0 win away to JCT. Then another nerve-wracking 2-1 win at home to Mahindra United with goals from Climax Lawrence and Sushil Kumar Singh. Then, yet another NERVE-WRACKING win 3 goals to 2 against Salgaocar at home. Anyone notice a pattern yet?

This team are giving me a serious heart problem. Every game, they take it right to the wire, nearly conceding in the last minute. I’m not sure how much more I can take of those last 5 minutes of a game in which your side is defending for their lives to hold onto the beautiful THREE points that you so desperately want to keep hold of. I had said so many prayers during those last few minutes hoping that the lads would deliver and wouldn’t concede a goal in the dying seconds.

The side must have heard my prayers because they turned out excellent and comprehensive victories over United Sports Club and New Delhi Heroes, winning 2-0 and 3-1 respectively. That was more like it. What an incredible start to the season!

We went into a game away at Dempo sitting proudly in 1st place. I could never have imagined being in this position at the start of the season. Yet, to be honest, the fixtures had fallen in our favour, with mostly home games against lower half of the table sides. The second half of the season would be much tougher. Getting anything against Dempo, who were looking like the strongest team in the division at this point, would be absolutely amazing. Regrettably, Climax Lawrence, our best player would be missing through injury.

Mumbai FC dominated the game against Dempo, taking control of the midfield, creating plenty of chances and could have won the tie. However, three things stood in the way of victory: 1) The outstanding Dempo striker Chidi Edeh. 2) A tactical mistake by me. 3) Many, many awful misses by a strike force incapable of hitting the target.

In short, I began the game with too high a defensive line in trying to combat the height of one of the Dempo strikers. Chidi Edeh used his pace to make my defenders look like statues and then we were 1-0 down. To be honest, we never quite got the hang of dealing with the pace and height combination of Dempo’s attack. Furthermore, Mr Biswas, our young Indian forward, despite his extraordinary pace, has the lowest finishing of any striker ever. He is a great penalty taker though and also our top goalscorer somehow! Strange but true. Against Dempo, he couldn’t score a goal if we had played for 180 minutes.

The devastating thing about this game was that we went 2-0 down, then fought back to 2-2 in the second half and looked in total control. Then, on 85 minutes Dempo went all out attack to get the result and I went to counter that by closing the game defensively. Yet, Dempo still breached our defence and won the game 3-2. Do I sound bitter? Well, I am. Yes, I’m very bitter about that result. Our first loss in six games. We went down to 3rd place, which I should really be pleased with all things considered.

After the awful, morale destroying result against Dempo, the lads managed to scrape a win at home to Air India 1-0. This was much needed. We were back and headed in the right direction. Yet, disaster was just around the corner.

Mohun Bagan are good. They are very good. I could talk to you about their classy striker Sunil Chetri, who scored a hattrick against us. I could tell you all about the various tactical mistakes I made in this game. But I won’t. The score was 4-2 to Mohun Bagan. They were better than us. That is all I need to say. This was another horrible home defeat. icon_mad.gif

Despite the two losses, we went into the Durand Cup, which would be followed by a winter break, with an excellent record in the league. 9 games played, 6 games won, 3 lost, with 16 goals for and 12 against. That record more or less ensured safety with only half of the games gone. There was much to be celebrated. icon_cool.gif

However, I didn’t feel much like celebrating in the Durand Cup, as we lost two in a row to send us crashing out of the tournament. In particular a 3-0 cup loss to East Bengal added to my depression. In total, that made it 4 defeats in 5 games for Mumbai FC in league and cup, which is not the sort of form that gets a manager excited. After such a promising start, we were starting to fade away.

Sure, injuries were playing a part. Climax Lawrence had been in and out of the team. We had injuries in defence, without decent backups to bring in. The worst injury was to our midfield engine Gouramangi Singh, who was out for a couple of months with a broken arm. Despite all of this, the main thing that was playing on my mind was that we really weren’t good enough to challenge the top sides on a regular basis. Sure, we could get the odd result with a bit of luck against the likes of Dempo, Salgaocar and Mahindra United, but we wouldn’t be able to beat them on a regular basis. Moreover, we were light years away from East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. Against the latter two clubs, our record was played 8, lost 8, conceded 24! With this in mind, I started to plan for next year by transfer listing a few fringe players and some of the signings who weren’t good enough.

In January it was back to the league and the second half of the season was going to be very tough with some really difficult away games to play. We started very positively with a home win against JCT, with Biswas and Kumar Singh grabbing the all important goals in a 2-1 win.

Our close rivals Mahindra United, who play at the same stadium as us, were not doing too well this season. We had beaten them with a rather fortuitous 2-1 win earlier in the season. Next up was the ‘away’ game and I was very pleased to go in at half-time at 1-1. Now, I must have got the half-time team talk completely wrong because in the second half we were a different team and shipped three silly goals. A 4-1 defeat had me raging in the dressing room after the game.

After this we played East Bengal at home, followed by Salgaocar away. I tried every tactical trick I could muster against East Bengal – playing with a target man to take advantage of their poor defence, putting five men in midfield, trying to keep possession. We played much better than usual and had a fair share in the game. A draw would have been a fair result but instead we went down 1-0 and never looked like coming back. Another defeat. The most disappointing thing about this game was the attendance. I didn’t expect us to beat East Bengal or even get a draw but I did hope to draw a crowd against the bigger teams. We got around 650 people, which admittedly is twice our normal gate but it isn’t much is it? We are running at a loss at the moment. Every month the board get more and more impatient. Luckily they also chip in with the occasional £100k to help with running costs. I think administration is just around the corner though. We’re in big trouble and low attendances are the core of the issue.

Next up in the league were Salgaocar, who we had beaten earlier in the season. The league was starting to take shape with us sitting around mid-table and Salgaocar below us in 6th. I badly wanted to keep hold of 5th place and possibly push Dempo who were sitting in 4th. A win here was a must if my aspirations were to be achieved. So, cue a typical Mumbai FC performance this season – a nail-biting, anxious affair that we are never truly in control of. Salgaocar go 1-0 up, we equalise before halftime to make it 1-1. Then we go out, create plenty but wind up conceding in the last 10 minutes to be beaten 2-1. Just where is the justice? We have more of the ball, create about the same and look the better side. A draw would have been a fair result. Talking of draws, I don’t know what is going on because we haven’t had a single one all season so far. It’s either win or lose with Mumbai FC. It’s ecstasy or despair every week and I am having trouble coping with it! Anyway, despite this result we are still in 5th, 1 point away from Salgoacar.

Around this time, New Delhi Heroes, the bottom side in the league, get their first point of the season against the second bottom side United Sports Club. It seemed likely prior to this that New Delhi heroes would go the whole season without registering a single point. This solitary point would be their only consolation in a miserable season. (I have a feeling that this will make Taifun feel better about his failure to keep them up. It certainly made me feel better about my miserable save game with New Delhi Heroes). New Delhi Heroes finished the season with just the 1 point and 44 goals conceded. Cannon fodder really.

Anyway, back to the situation at Mumbai FC. The fans were calling for my head. Can you believe that? A team that are only predicted to finish in 9th place, who were currently sitting in 5th? Then again, our form had been really poor recently – with 1 win and 4 losses in 5 games. The fans were deeply upset with a number of players in the side and they were upset by recent results. At about this time, the Mohun Bagan job became available. Seduced by their superiority, I applied for the job. I knew that I had very little chance of getting it, due to my lack of experience and low reputation. However, I figured it was worth a go. It was a big mistake. The media were on to me immediately. I made a further mistake at an interview with the press, in which I, stupidly, said that the fans at Mumbai FC should have more patience in the team. The fans hated me even more now but the key thing was that the board hated me even more. Our strained relationship, due to my lack of control of the finances and my application for another job, which had been leaked to the press, had them asking me to resign with my dignity intact. As stubborn as Steve McClaren, I ignored their request and planned to see how long I could manage to stay at the helm with the board and fans protesting against me. The Mohun Bagan job came and went. I didn’t get it.

Lucky for me, a win was around the corner to put the fans back in a good mood and had the board thinking that I wasn’t such a bad manager after all. Indeed, a 4-0 thrashing of United Sports Club, followed by a 3-0 rout of New Delhi Heroes improved the mood no end and the fans seemed to return to their happy state, with the board ‘satisfied’ with me. I didn't hear anymore about the board wanting to sack me, phew!

We approached the end of the season with a 1-0 loss to Mohun Bagan away and a 2-1 loss to Dempo at home. The former seemed quite significant to me. Mohun Bagan still finished 2nd in the league but they look to be on the wane. When we played them, it was really touch and go and we could have got a win on another day. We played better and made more chances. I feel Mohun Bagan will need to strengthen in the summer to retain their status as one of the biggest clubs in India. Their fierce rivals, East Bengal, tied up the league with a game to go. Incidentally, the game against Dempo gave us a chance to challenge for 4th spot. Once again, we dominated play and made chance after chance, only to concede a dramatic goal in the last minute of the match. Poor concentration could be to blame, but perhaps I should have closed the game and been happy with the draw, rather than seeking the 3 points late on. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off.

As we went into our last game against Air India, we had secured 5th place and had nothing to play for. A 2-1 win was still a satisfying way to end the season. Personally, I was pleased with the finish but concerned by our lack of ability to challenge the top sides.

On our day, I felt that we could reach a similar level to the top sides. Frequently this season, we had outplayed them or made more chances and still lost. The key was up front and in defence. Our strikers were not clinical enough.

Biswas has the pace but his penalty taking aside, he has no ability in front of goal. Kumar Singh is the target man of my dreams, but lacks composure and an ability to take his chance. Ogundare is probably the most natural finisher we have got and yet his season had been disappointing.

At the back, we just couldn’t defend against a potent combination of height and pace, which is what the top clubs seem to have.

They say the league doesn’t lie and this one clearly doesn’t. Against the top four, we managed a combined total of 3 points all season (coming in a lucky win against Mahindra United). In contrast, we won all of our games against the bottom four. Salgaocar, who finished below us in 6th, seem to be at about our standard. This is reflected in one win and one loss against them this season.

Where do I go from here? Well, it’s going to be a difficult summer in which I am going to have to try and recruit some more talent. Regrettably, I am finding keeping players difficult, with some of them whose contracts are up already having been snapped up by higher reputation sides. It’s very difficult indeed and I do not predict any improvement for next season to be honest. Without funding, I don’t think we will be able to bring in any significant talent to challenge the top sides. Seeing as we have lost a few players, it looks as though we might even be in a worse position next season.

The JCT manager appears to be on the brink of being sacked and I am contemplating jumping ship. I have honoured the original contract with Mumbai FC, having been at the club for two years. I do, however, have one year remaining on my current contract, as I signed a new one at the end of last season. The compensation may well put JCT off and my reputation may not be significant enough to attract them anyway but I will certainly be thinking about switching clubs. JCT finished 8th but this position does not reflect some of the quality in their squad. They have two excellent forwards, for instance. The main thing that attracts me to JCT is their attendances and finances, which are much superior to the resources at my disposal at Mumbai FC. Indeed, the chronic debts and disappointing attendances are getting me down at the moment. Without money, I feel that we will not be able to challenge the big four teams (East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Mahindra United and Dempo). Perhaps I am getting a bit carried away. I should certainly be very pleased with a vastly improved campaign this season.

The league and cups had been a clean sweep by the big four. United SC and New Delhi Heroes had been relegated, the latter only claiming a solitary point in a humiliating season.

I am proud of my achievements this season but concerned by the constant defeats against these top four sides. It was going to be a long summer of deliberation.

Final league pos: 5th P18 W10 D0 L8 F30 A24 GD6 Pts30

(East Bengal retain their title. The top four is in the exact same order as last season: 1st East Bengal, 2nd Mohun Bagan, 3rd Mahindra United, 4th Dempo)

Durand Cup: Out in the group stages

(Durand Cup won by Mohun Bagan)

Federation Cup: 3rd place

(Fed Cup retained by East Bengal)

Average Attendance: 554 (1 more person than last season!)

Player of the season: Sushil Kumar Singh, my 26 year old target man, with 8 goals in all competitions.

Signing of the season: Sushil Kumar Singh on a free transfer. I always said that if I got a target man in the team that he would win us games.

Best Indian player: Sushil Kumar Singh, 26-year-old Indian target man. Presently uncapped and looks like he will stay that way.

Most exciting Indian prospect: Agnelo Costa, born in Mumbai, a 16-year-old left-back product of a youth system. He only played a handful of games as I sought to protect him and give him a taste of first-team football this season. He got his first U21 cap and the future looks very exciting for him. To me, he looks like a quality fullback already at this level. He already looks excellent at tackling and has a good sense of positioning, with good overall mental attributes another bonus. The physical side of his game is poor but that is to be expected from a part-time youth player and a 16-year-old. I predict big things for him in the future. I hope so anyway!

Top goalscorer: Ashim Biswas, 25-year-old fast striker, with 12 goals in all competitions. He scored 11 in the league. This is despite having the worst finishing and composure record that I have ever seen for a striker. His penalty taking cannot be faulted though and he scored all 5 penalties in the league for us this season.

Most Assists: 31-year-old Indian international Climax Lawrence. He had a bit of an injury prone first season at the club but still managed 4 goals as well.

Most MoM awards: Ashim Biswas with 4 MoM awards – all of that penalty taking helped!

Other players worth mentioning:

Gouramangi Singh (25 yo Indian), the defensive midfield and record most expensive Mumbai FC signing, played really well but had an injury ravaged season and didn’t play in about half of the games. I think this might have been a key factor in our poor form against the top sides as we missed him when playing in those huge games.

Legendary David Bikim, the Cameroonian 27-year-old midfielder had another fine season in the middle of the park with an average rating of 7.08 and the highest pass completion rate in the squad wit 87% of passes completed. He quietly and effectively went about his business and is the unsung hero of Mumbai FC.

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Crouch may i join this challenge. Looks good fun and is one of the better thought out challenges. Another reason that i want to join is that i am a teacher and my assistant is Indian. I know he supports East Bengal but that is it. He once was a teacher but was caught playing fm when he should have been teaching. I quite like doing challenges as well and judging by the posts this is a fun one.

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Originally posted by goldenduty:

Crouch may i join this challenge. Looks good fun and is one of the better thought out challenges. Another reason that i want to join is that i am a teacher and my assistant is Indian. I know he supports East Bengal but that is it. He once was a teacher but was caught playing fm when he should have been teaching. I quite like doing challenges as well and judging by the posts this is a fun one.

Nice one! icon14.gif

Welcome to the challenge. I hope you enjoy it!

Let us know which team you end up with.

I'm struggling over the summer with Mumbai FC at the moment. No transfer funds, a reduced wage bill and a chairman who has sold three players over my head. Plus, nobody worthwhile signing on a free. I think this is the hardest challenge I have had in the FM series. Still enjoying it a lot! icon_biggrin.gif

C.

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Originally posted by Nightowl:

As far as I know, the Singh last name has some religious significance, and is actually extremely common (if anyone knows better, please feel free to correct this). I seem to remember this causing immigration issues for people attempting to come to Canada. I agree about the lack of variety, though.

'Singh' is the surname taken by all Sikh men. It is also common among non-Sikhs however (it means 'lion'). As you might know, devout Sikh men must wear a turban at all times (and shouldn't shave their beards) - in footballing terms they tie their hair in a top-knot. I'd be curious to know how this affects their ability to head the ball accurately. icon_smile.gif

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Season 1 (2008/2009) with Mohammedan:

Overview

Overall it went well. Finished 6th in the league with 23 points. Only 3 of these points was achieved away, so I have to work with the away-tactic.

Tremendous finances due to the great attendance. At the matches against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, the stadium was crowded with around 65000.

During pre-season for season 2, I managed to steel one GK-coach from Mahindra and sign a new ass. man from Merthyr Tidfyl.

NFL winner: East Bengal

Durand Cup: Salgoacar

Fed. Cup: Mohun Bagan

EPL winner: Arsenal

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I started with indian bank and have a squad of 12 players. Is this cricket or football? anyway 5 of them are am and 3 are st.

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Originally posted by cletus:

Season 1 (2008/2009) with Mohammedan:

Overview

Overall it went well. Finished 6th in the league with 23 points. Only 3 of these points was achieved away, so I have to work with the away-tactic.

Tremendous finances due to the great attendance. At the matches against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, the stadium was crowded with around 65000.

During pre-season for season 2, I managed to steel one GK-coach from Mahindra and sign a new ass. man from Merthyr Tidfyl.

NFL winner: East Bengal

Durand Cup: Salgoacar

Fed. Cup: Mohun Bagan

EPL winner: Arsenal

Great first season Cletus ! Congratulations on your achievement.

Those finances will keep you ticking along nicely. I suspect you'll be challenging the bigger teams in the division next season. Being able to compete with them is a huge bonus.

Where I am at the moment, Mumbai FC, I can't compete financially and that makes it a real challenge.

Remember to try and upgrade your youth facilities. I've had one or two decent players come through in mine. The trouble is that I can't upgrade due to lack of funds. I still seem to get the occasional decent player come through though. icon_smile.gif

Keep up the good work.

C.

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Originally posted by goldenduty:

I started with indian bank and have a squad of 12 players. Is this cricket or football? anyway 5 of them are am and 3 are st.

Maybe you should play a very attacking 2-5-3? icon_biggrin.gif

Get working in that transfer market. Plenty of scouts looking at India and scouting the U18s is the best move.

I don't know what Indian Bank are like to start with. Reputation wise, they are one of the mid-range (1000) teams, so it should be a good challenge. I think they have potential to attract a decent attendance so that will be a bonus. Let us know what you think.

Good luck in your first season. icon14.gif

C.

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Thanks it is so annoying that the transfer market opens after the season starts.

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Originally posted by goldenduty:

Thanks it is so annoying that the transfer market opens after the season starts.

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I like to have my team settled before the start of the season and don't like to bring anyone else in. Yet I always end up bringing in new players and having to make a tactical change. It's very disruptive.

It's even worse when you are just starting out, especially if you have a squad with no talent to begin with!

C.

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Played six won 1 drawn 1 and lost 4. Bottom of the league but 2 points clear of safety. Come on indian Bank!

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Congratulations crouchaldinho on the season. Another massive update, although it seems like you could have managed another season in the time it took to write that update. icon_wink.gif

You're lucky to have received any transfer funds at all with such poor finances, I could never get any from ONGC (and was receiving 0% of sales for a long time). Hope the signings work out, as I'm worried you may not see any more for a while.

Also, it seems that you wrote that your board was injecting extra funds in the team. Were you hugely in debt at the time? I've often wished that my board would step in for once and inject some funds, as opposed to just selling my players. I'm almost at the point of hoping that an Abramovich type decides to step in and by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (think of the profits with so many people in India!), and with it my club!

Singh' is the surname taken by all Sikh men. It is also common among non-Sikhs however (it means 'lion'). As you might know, devout Sikh men must wear a turban at all times (and shouldn't shave their beards) - in footballing terms they tie their hair in a top-knot. I'd be curious to know how this affects their ability to head the ball accurately. Smile

I'm glad I remembered something right. And it does present an interesting image.

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Oil & Natural Gas Corporation 2011/12 Season Report

The season didn't start well, with a 2-0 road loss to Air India. Then, for game 2, 7 of my 21 man first team were away on international duty, with another 2 injured. This is the first time I've had players away like this during a game. Managed a 0-0 tie at home, but lost David Bikim for 2-3 weeks. The remainder of the first portion of the season went okay, and I entered the Durand Cup period with a 4-1-3 record.

During the October transfer period, Surkumar Singh, my starting right back, was sold off to Dempo for 150k. I seem to have a revolving door policy in the defense, but it doesn't seem to hurt much as I am always one of the top defensive teams in the league. The main event, however, was my chairman accepting a bid for Satyajit Singh, my starting striker for the last few years. Now, I may have complained about a lack of goals, but he was still a solid player, and it wasn't entirely his fault. I noticed that several other clubs were also interested, including major clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, so it was time to offer him out for even more. This paid off, as East Bengal came in with a 300k bid (where do they get all this money?), with an additional 500k after an international appearance, plus 10% sell-on and a friendly. As he was a budding international, I prayed he would accept their contract offer over the chairman accepted bid, and luckily (or obviously, considering their greatness), he did! Once he played another international (he played his first during negotiations) later in the month, my balance ballooned to around 1.1M. Sadly, even with some transfer funds and wage space, I could not attract any decent players, all being either uninterested or demanding higher wages than I could offer. Still, at least I don't have to worry about finances for a while.

Back to the season, we advanced to the semi final of the Durand Cup, only to lose 2-0 to Mohun Bagan. East Bengal, of course, won the competition. The second portion of the season did not go particularly well, with a 4-3-3 record. In the end, I finished the season with a 8-4-6 record, 24 for and 19 against. This was only good enough for 6th place, a step back for the team. Again I had the second best defense (East Bengal conceded 9), but had the fourth worst offense, which sadly is actually an improvement. East Bengal won the league yet again, with a 16-2-0 record, 46 for and 9 against. They did not lose a game in any Indian competition for the third straight year, having gone undefeated in all 26 games (and winning both cups again).

On the awards front, 33 year old defender and captain Suley Musah (he of the 1 pace and acceleration) was named to the Asian All Star XI, and keeper Shaymal Ignatius was second in Indian Goalkeeper of the Year, after finishing third the two previous seasons. Right winger Arata Izumi led the league in assists with 9, and was the fans player of the year (as he has been every season since I've been in charge). Fullback Harvinder Thapa, a free signing from National Club, was the signing of the season. Even more amusingly, the two players I sold in October (mentioned above) were the two worst signings of the season!

In other off season news, David Bikim has become an Indian citizen, freeing up a foreigner slot. Of course, he's the only foreigner I've ever had, so this may not mean much. Maybe he'll get a call to the Indian national squad, they could do a lot worse than this solid player. Also, my original 12.5k p/a sponsorship deal expired, and was replaced by a 31.25k sponsorship until 2016. I was hoping for more, but every little bit helps.

Finances remain a sore point. My average attendance was 884, better than last season, but still not reaching the 950 I averaged in 2009/10. Even with a smaller squad, and a wage bill of only half my budget, my team still loses over 20k a month. I have built a cushion with my sales, but how long will it last, especially if I manage to sign the high wage earners I worry I'll need to take the next step. Currently, my highest earner is Arata Izumi, at only 19500 p/a, and only 6 players make 10k p/a or more; looking at other big clubs, these numbers are laughable. Near the end of the season, I did manage to convince the board to use some of its new-found wealth to improve the training and youth facilities, so at least I'm gaining something from all these sales.

As a bonus for those interested in the fate of Indian football as a whole, Hardip Singh completed his first season with RC Lens playing 33 games, scoring 16 goals, with an average rating of 7.24. Looks like he could be the leader of the national side for a long time to come.

Next season looks like it might be tough, unless my young players continue to get even better. I have essentially run out of players to sell to raise funds (unless I lose what few core players I have remaining), and unless I can attract some more established players, I will have to continue to plug holes with young players who may not be ready. It has gotten me this far, but I worry about the teams ability to take the next step without some major signings.

Oh well, I have no plans on abandoning my team yet (although if East Bengal comes calling...), I'm hoping I can still take them to the top. I've got some more time now, so hopefully the next update should come soon.

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Mohammeddan Season Review 2014-2015

Transfers

A few new faces signed up this year, 10 in fact, most notoriously 2 Sri Lankans, Striker Perara, and Goalkeeper Fernando. Finally it seems we are able to scout outside our borders. I discovered these two by chance though, just checking what was on my player search list, and then seeing I was able to trial them. Both look OK, they were bought more for novelty value though.

Federation Cup

We won the Fed Cup yet again, though not as easily as before. Two 2-0 wins and then 2-1 wins in the Semi and the Final over HASC and JCT respectively. Young striker Mohammed Hasan grabbed three goals, raising hope we may have a homegrown goalscorer on our hands.

Durand Cup

We finally captured our first Durand Cup, beating arch enemies East Bengal in the final 1-0, with our fourth choice striker doing the honours, mind you, he’s probably the fourth best Striker in India so that helps. The highlight was perhaps a miscued clearing punt from Anthony Kumar in goal which beat everyone. It proved to be crucial as we won that match, the semifinal, 2-1, over Mahindra United.

Indian League

Delighted to make it a three-peat, this year was closer than last, winning by two points. The turning point was on Matchday 13, when we defeated East Bengal by 4-0 away. Junior Obagbemiro got 15 goals and was named player of the year. I always expected to win this, and perhaps, the only disappointment was a narrow loss to Vasco, a result which cost us an undefeated season. Oh well, there’s always next year.

1st place : 13-4-1-(+38) 43 points

Asian Champions League

We again drew a tough group, and again finished third. Twice we turned wins into draws in the last minutes, through own goals, and we looked the equal of any other team in the group. A bit more composure and we would have gone through. Our group featured Seungnam of Korea, Beijing of China, and KTB of Thailand. On a plus side, we scored a brilliant 14 goals.

Indian Super Cup

Mohammedan 18 East Bengal. Oh, that’s just the shots per team. The goals? Mohammedan 0 East Bengal 1. As you can understand I was a little disappointed to ruin a season where I won everything else domestically. I guess, this gives me a goal for next year though.

National Team

When I took over midway through the Asian Nations Cup qualification campaign, we had 4 points from 4 games. We ended up with 7 from 8, so you could say we went downhill? Wee we got third in the group which was sound, and only ever lost by a goal. We did beat Singapore though. We went down to Tajikistan, China, and Jordan. We also lost a friendly to 38th ranked Kuwait by 2-1, thanks to a last minute penalty. There was the wee issue of nepotism though, apparently the country were disgusted to see the team made up by about 80% Mohammedan players, they were the best though. Rankings-wise we still hover around the 100 mark, reaching a high of 96. This will be a long, hard journey…..

Star Players

These guys form the backbone of the Black Panthers, and hopefully will do so for sometime yet….

Star Defender Milton Das http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm308/davidmcain_pho...014-15/MiltonDas.jpg

Defensive Midfielder Vijay Fernandes

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm308/davidmcain_pho...5/VijayFernandes.jpg

Playmaker John Ali

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm308/davidmcain_pho...%2014-15/JohnAli.jpg

Star Striker Junior Obagbemiro

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm308/davidmcain_pho...JuniorObagbemiro.jpg

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Originally po

sted by Nightowl:

Congratulations crouchaldinho on the season. Another massive update, although it seems like you could have managed another season in the time it took to write that update. icon_wink.gif

Yes, you are absolutely right. icon_biggrin.gif

Perhaps it is time to write smaller updates and play more FM! This sounds like a good plan... icon14.gif

You're lucky to have received any transfer funds at all with such poor finances, I could never get any from ONGC (and was receiving 0% of sales for a long time). Hope the signings work out, as I'm worried you may not see any more for a while.

Well, I'm into my third pre-season now and I have zero transfer funds, am receiving 0% of sales and have had my chairman sell about 3 or 4 key players over my head. The money coming in has just got swallowed up by the debts. Things are not going too well, to say the least.

Also, it seems that you wrote that your board was injecting extra funds in the team. Were you hugely in debt at the time?

I've been around -£300m in debt and fluctuating around there for what seems like forever.

I'm managing the wage budget really well but that makes no difference at all. Balancing the books is an impossibility.

I've often wished that my board would step in for once and inject some funds, as opposed to just selling my players. I'm almost at the point of hoping that an Abramovich type decides to step in

I long for the day that an Abramovich type comes to Mumbai FC!

The trouble is that I think you need money to challenge in this division. You have to buy players from the top clubs to stand any chance of winning something. The other route is, of course, building a side with youth. This takes a great deal of time and the worry is that my chairman will sell all of the promising players before they have had the chance to mature!

As you might know, devout Sikh men must wear a turban at all times (and shouldn't shave their beards) - in footballing terms they tie their hair in a top-knot. I'd be curious to know how this affects their ability to head the ball accurately. Smile

I'm not sure it would have much of an effect on heading the ball, would it? I think they are generally tightly wound so I don't believe it would cause a problem in terms of coming loose. You head the ball with your forehead and a turban would not get in the way of that.

C.

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