snootyjim

Getting Müllered Around the World

98 posts in this topic

I am commencing on a (hopefully) epic tour of the world, on the basis that I've never really played outside of the UK and over ten years down the line, it seems a good time to start! I intend to load every league in the world, hit continue, and see where life takes me. Rather than spending years at a club, as I usually do, I will be looking out for new opportunities, and if a new club makes me an offer, sparing a miracle, I will be moving on until I reach stardom. Or Staines Town.

Some credit should go to those whose threads I've enjoyed in this forum, particularly hrbfcrule‎, Makoto Nakamura‎ and dafuge, which inspired me to give it a shot myself. Also worthy of mention is iacovone, whose 'fork' career convinced me that failure was no barrier to an enjoyable career thread ;)

I am adopting the identity of an FM11 legend, Fabian Müller, on the basis that he should inspire me to similar levels of greatness. Theoretically, at least. If the name seems familiar, you probably saw his goal of the season here.

I might not be able to update the thread too prolifically, as I'm attempting to get a degree somewhere between the gaming (hence getting FM12 in February!), but hopefully it will still be a bit of fun :)

So, where have I started off?

HrvatskiDragovoljac.png

Correct! It's NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac. Manchester United and Barcelona were interested in opening talks, but I was keen to get started as soon as possible and the vacancy in the Croatian Second Division seemed a perfect opportunity. I've wanted to brush up on my Croatian for a while.

I stood atop the grandstand and surveyed my new home. Then I fell through the grandstand.

Stad_hrv_drg2.jpg

What could possibly go wrong?

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So, a brief summary.

The Good:

Team - My assistant manager is an optimist. He has, however, just been sacked, so he's probably changed his mind.

Club Info - The media are optimists.

Finances - We've got some cash

The Bad

Facilities - Unsurprisingly terrible.

News - I just spent all our money sacking all the staff.

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Was that a heart I saw in the crest? unusual.

It's a loveable club. :D

Good luck, from my experience at that level Dragovoljac is a decent club with the potential to go up, so no wonder it's ranked 3rd by the media. You might also find that the croatian 2nd division is a little more competitive than you may think, the ability of the players there surprised me. It's still pretty bad in the grand scheme of things though, it's not exactly Real Madrid vs Barcelona - perhaps about League 1 standard?

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Good luck mate. Should be in interesting read.

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It's a loveable club. :D

Good luck, from my experience at that level Dragovoljac is a decent club with the potential to go up, so no wonder it's ranked 3rd by the media. You might also find that the croatian 2nd division is a little more competitive than you may think, the ability of the players there surprised me. It's still pretty bad in the grand scheme of things though, it's not exactly Real Madrid vs Barcelona - perhaps about League 1 standard?

Could be very interesting - already outstripping salary limit when I arrived so it's going to take a while to cut the squad down to size and then start rebuilding from there. I've seen a lot of good players I could pick up for free, but until I've shifted more of the main squad I simply can't afford their wages. I'm certainly not expecting instant success :)

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I also just found this guy in the under 18 squad, who I'm very impressed by:

Eduard Husinec

He's a centre-back, Only 18, with a full 5-star recommendation and his best ratings in heading, marking, tackling, decisions, positioning, workrate, acceleration, jumping and pace. Strength is a bit rubbish, but he looks like a great player. Already my best centre-back and one of the best players at the club. As long as I can scrape enough money together to tie him down to a long-term contract before the season's out...

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How come you spent all your money sacking staff? Was it not worth keeping them on?

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How come you spent all your money sacking staff? Was it not worth keeping them on?

No, they were all terrible. The physio had less than 10 for physiotherapy, the scout had less than 5 for JA and JP, none of the coaches had over 10 in any kind of coaching. And furthermore, we had 8 coaches if I remember correctly - the board recommended a maximum of 2. I couldn't have paid their wages even if I had wanted to.

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On the plus side, we've had a very consistent start to the season.

hrdragovoljacboardroomf.png

I have, however, managed to get Husinec signed up for another 4 years which I'm very happy about.

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With the club nearly £900k in debt, with income of approx £10k per month, and the league form collapsing, I have decided to resign from my position. My only hope was to get the club promoted and hope that the money coming in increased dramatically, but promotion seemed very unlikely from the position I was in. With the squad absolutely threadbare, injuries and a slew of red cards really hurt my form after the winter break, and with us 10% over the wage budget and relying largely on loan players I brought in, things looked very bleak. Goodbye Croatia, and thanks for all the language lessons.

League Table - Our defence was excellent, but we relied far too much on Vuka up front who had an absolute nightmare after the winter break. Played badly, got himself sent off for hacking down an opponent needlessly, and was even worse after his return.

Squad - Brucic was excellent, by far the best player we had, but he was destined for much greater things in his future. Husinec was a little disappointing, but I'll be keeping an eye on him - I still have high hopes. I was playing a Brazilian 4-2-2-2 system to take advantage of the excellent DMs, Spehar and Janjetovic, but after Christmas they just both got sent off a lot.

I'll be sending a few applications in, and we'll see what happens.

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Season 1 Review - 2011/2012

NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac

A frankly disappointing few months, in all honesty. Finances were terrible, squad was appalling and the board gave me no opportunity to improve it, limiting me to loan signings, of which only one was actually good enough to improve the first XI. I thought I might've been able to get promotion, and our early season form was phenomenal. The Brazilian 4-2-2-2 formation was a massive gamble, but it really paid off. However, we relied far too much on Vuka up front, and once he lost form so did the entire team. The post-Christmas performances were horrendous, and short of a takeover the club was heading for administration. It seemed a good time to jump ship.

Port Talbot

Overview

On 5th May 2012, Port Talbot escaped relegation by 3 points with a lucky win on the last day of the season against the bottom-placed team. The manager was duly sacked 2 days later, and I was appointed manager on 12th May. With little to do but reshape the squad, I did exactly that.

Thankfully, this time, the club was not already exceeding its wage budget, and nearly all of the players were on short-term contracts expiring in 2 months' time, so many of them were let go to make room for new signings. I was able to bring in around 40 players, and let go of around 20. With many of the released players on up to £300 p/w, and a self-imposed salary cap of £100 p/w, plus a few non-contract signings, the salaries were cut in half. The board rewarded me by cutting the budget in half, which was thoughtful of them.

I was particularly pleased with the capture of the young centre-back Laurence Gaughan, who has featured in my last two FM games, and was my top scorer in my first season in FM11 with Arbroath!

Squad

Squad Overview - A young bunch overall, apart from the assistant manager down there at the bottom!

Max Noble - My best player, and an excellent winger even if he can't cross for toffee. He'll be the anti-Beckham.

Jordan Burrow - Nothing mind-blowing, but decent finishing and composure should bode well.

Kye Edwards - Not to be confused with the other centreback, Kai Edwards, this is the sole survivor from the previous squad. You can tell by his monstrous £130 p/w salary.

Laurence Gaughan - He might be one of three apparently equal centrebacks in the squad, but his heading and jumping is terrific for this level, and combined with good scores in bravery, strength and tackling, he's an ideal centreback. I have high hopes, as usual.

Season Targets

With last year's league winners Neath offering a typical salary of £500 p/w, it's clear that we're going to struggle. Veteran striker, and Swansea legend, Lee Trundle, is paid £2,900 p/w and is apparently twice the player of Jordan Burrow. He's also nearly twice the age, but the scout reported omitted that fact.

The media have predicted 11th place, but I'm aiming for top 6. You never know. Beyond that, I'm just going to see how things go, although I'm hoping to pull the club back into the black. Last season they made a loss of £135k, but I've cut around £70k from the wage budget, so if we can do a bit better in the cups we might be able to get back on the straight and narrow.

Friendlies

Results - Rather delighted with the third match, but not too much else to shout about. A lot of youth players were involved with these games though, so I'll have to wait until the season proper to really get a feel of how competitive we'll be.

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And it looks like Husinec was indeed destined for greater things. Hoping I can sign him at some point in the future, but I don't think Port Talbot will be the club to do so.

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16! Nice. :D Good on the results front.

Thanks.

It's been a very odd season this - we started unbelievably well, and not just against Neath. Since then though, players have being flying in and out of the doors so quickly and I suspect that's why we've struggled to really get any kind of consistency. Nonetheless, I think we're still on target for a top-six finish.

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Season 2 Review - 2012/2013

Port Talbot's targets at the beginning of the season were to narrowly escape relegation, and nothing more. I hoped for a bit better though, and set a target of top six. The cups weren't a big concern, so I wasn't worried about them. We began in fine fashion, beating last year's winners Neath 4-0 away from home. By the time I'd finished making new signings, their wage bill was approximately 8 times higher than mine, so I was very pleased with the result. I thought we might run away with the league after winning the first three games without letting in a single goal, but our form collapsed and we drew three games and lost the next one, leaving us in a decidedly average position in the table.

I have a feeling that it was largely to do with the quantity of players I was signing. As more players arrived, better ones appeared, to the point that my best central defender, Laurence Gaughan, wound up free transferred as my worst. Each new player lacked match fitness, and the squad couldn't really gain any momentum. By Christmas, however, I had reached the limit of our wage budget and brought in all the players that I wanted. From January onwards, we lost just two games and drew only one, leaving us champions by a margin of 14 points. And in other news, we won the League Cup and the Welsh Cup to complete a Treble.

League Table - Fixtures

Loosemores League Cup - A fairly easy cup run in the end, not too much challenge.

Welsh Cup - Wrexham presented the biggest challenge of the season, as I knew I could easily beat all the teams in the Welsh League, and they did give us a run for our money but we took control in the second half, and from there onwards I was very confident. A terrible performance in the final nearly saw us lose it, but central midfielder Mark Duggan scored in the 92nd minute to take the game into injury time and from there onwards there was little doubt.

Squad Overview - With an average age of 20, we're not done yet. The overall quality has improved phenomenally since the beginning of the season, and should only improve. The only players that have asked to leave are the result of me not playing them, so it bodes well for the future.

Finances - Could have been a disaster, but by slashing the wage budget and winning just over £40k in prize money at the end of the season, I managed to make a tiny profit. Champions League income will be vital next season.

Key Players

Nathan Fisher - By far the standout player, scoring 27 goals in all competitions and getting an average of 7.47. Ironically only my 3rd best striker in the assistant manager's eyes, but he's really proving a point.

Aristote Nsiala - Great name, great player. Rock solid in the centre of defence.

Vances Bola - My 4th best striker according the assistant manager. Played exceptionally well up front with Fisher, bagging himself 15 goals in the process.

Joe Walsh - Had a good season on loan at Port Talbot before I joined, so when he became available on a free I jumped at the chance. He didn't disappoint.

Jamie Strong - The appropriately named centre-back formed an excellent partnership with Nsiala after Christmas.

Next Season

Not a clue. I could stay at Port Talbot, but I don't think the league will be much of a challenge. The Champions League will obviously be a challenge, but I doubt we'll get very far - and even if we do, it'll just mean some money in the bank and the opportunity to make a poor imitation of Dafuge's excellent Bourneview side. That tempts me to move on elsewhere, with more of a challenge nationally, but none of the vacancies listed have inspired me. Answers on a postcard :D

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I've decided to take up an opportunity in Indonesia, at Persijap in the Super League. No idea what I'm doing, but it should be a bit of an adventure!

The wage budget has leaped up from approximately £2k p/w to £9k p/w, but the club is in a very precarious position financially. On the plus side, the board aren't assessing my performance in the league so I'm not under too much pressure at the moment.

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No danger of you putting down roots, huh? I'd have found the chance to play in the Champions League impossible to walk away from, but good luck on the other side of the world!

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No danger of you putting down roots, huh? I'd have found the chance to play in the Champions League impossible to walk away from, but good luck on the other side of the world!

Thanks!

It was very tempting, I have to admit. I was just a bit disappointed with the quality of the league opposition, and didn't fancy playing a season where I walked the league and the only challenge was seeing how many rounds of the CL I could progress through before I got absolutely hammered by somebody. It could have been an entire season with just two or three interesting matches. Besides, Wales isn't something phenomenally different, given my familiarity with managing in Scotland and England.

Indonesia however, that's a totally different situation. If I can get into the Asian Champions League I would be delighted, never competed in it in FM before.

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You did a great job in Wales. Indonesia will be lucky to have you! Although, Indonesia confuses me somewhat, as the majority of teams begin with a 'P'! :D

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Someone explained that a while back but can't remember what that was.

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You did a great job in Wales. Indonesia will be lucky to have you! Although, Indonesia confuses me somewhat, as the majority of teams begin with a 'P'! :D

Thanks! And yes, it's unbelievably confusing... here's the Indonesian Super League (and a sneak preview of my season!)

indonesiansuperleagueov.png

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Always nice to be recognised :)

And a nice compliment dropped in there as well!

fabianmllernewsinbox4.png

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Season 3 Review - 2013/2014

Persijap expected me to attain a safe mid-table position in the Super League, and a respectable league position in the Cup (I take this to mean that the board are collectively insane). I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since there's a bug that means I can register only one foreign player, whilst the other teams in the league can have as many as they want. Given that most of the talent in the league is South American, that makes things a little tricky. As soon as I joined, I had to let 3 of my best players leave as I was unable to register them, and replacing them was incredibly difficult, with a real lack of homegrown Indonesian talent.

The squad was also very threadbare, with barely any wingers or full backs. I decided to go with a 4-1-2-1-2 formation, to take advantage of the quality I had in the centre, and signed a few full backs to make the new formation work. As the league screenshot earlier shows, we started exceptionally well, and despite having a very poor squad compared to the rest of the league, we managed to remain in 1st or 2nd place for the vast majority of the season. My star signing, Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan made the AM position his own, and the young Yandi Munawar came on leaps and bounds from his previous season at Persijap, bagging 15 goals in the league, and making his international debut, scoring 3 goals in 3 games. The pair of them were absolutely vital to my success, and thankfully neither of them received any serious injuries. However, the lack of quality beyond the 1st XI caused us real problems, and by January nearly all of my attacking players were incredibly jaded. I gave them what rest I could, but their performances in the latter half of the season were nowhere as good as those in the first half. Owing to a tight wage budget, and the foreigner restrictions, I was unable to reinforce in the January transfer window, so we were stuck with what we had.

Regrettably, the late collapse of form saw a massive drop of morale and from there it looked pretty hopeless. I played a weakened team in the Cup to help our league ambitions, and whilst getting knocked out gave our first XI a well-needed breather during mid-week, it wasn't enough. A couple of team meetings rejuvenated the squad, but almost straight away we dropped back into a quagmire of pessimism.

It just wasn't to be, and we finished 5th in the league. A very respectable position, no doubt, with the second fewest goals conceded, and more goals scored than the eventual winners. Our prediction was 11th, and our record highest finish was 7th, so I should be pleased, but I really feel that first place was within our grasp.

League Table - Results

Indonesian Cup - We were doing well, and could probably have won it, but it was far too much for my team to take in addition to the league so I played a weakened squad against Persikota - I thought we might have turned it around in the home fixture but there was no spark of quality in the line-up, and overall a fair result on aggregate.

Squad Overview - It doesn't take a genius to spot the problem here. We have a small group of excellent players, and they were absolutely the ones who dragged us through the season - almost every game, one of them would come up with the goods. Beyond them however, the team is terrible. People like Muhaimin at the bottom of the picture really are not good enough, and the fact that he played 17 times for us just proves how desperate we've been for some good quality. Also, the wages are very imbalanced, with Noor Hadi and Abdul Latif Hasyim at the bottom on some of the highest salaries, and barely playing.

Rudi Keltjes is an interesting prospect, by far the best of the youth candidates that appeared late on in the season, but owing to league rules I was unable to play him - very frustrating.

Finances - The board invested around £800k in the club this year, and combined with the £140k we got for our league position the club is in the black for the first time ever. I don't know how much longer we can sustain this, but if I don't try to improve the squad we've got not hope of challenging for the league.

Key Players

Yasir Syamsuddin - Reliable keeper who has received some rather unfair low ratings over the course of the season. You need a good man between the sticks to keep such a low number of goals conceded and I've been very pleased with him.

Yandi Munawar - Delighted with this guy. Inherited from the previous manager, his last season was very average and I wasn't sure about him - he has come on leaps and bounds though and is easily my best player at the moment. High hopes for him.

Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan - One of my first signings, a perfect fit for the AM position. He's not quite reached the heights I hoped he would, but hopefully after he's settled in next season should be a good year for him.

Edson Baiano - The only foreign player I retained, purely because his contract ran until the end of this season. He has been very good, a powerful DM with an excellent shot, but I've let his contract run down and he'll be leaving this Summer. His wage requests are huge, and he's occupying an incredibly valuable foreign player slot. I really hope this move doesn't backfire!

Alex Fauzi - A young centre-back who my assistant manager is raving about - he's improved from week to week and will only get better from here onwards. High hopes for this lad.

Next Season

I will be staying at Persijap for the time being - I've enjoyed my time here and I'm optimistic that I can improve the squad and qualify for the Champions' League next season. Of course though, this is all dependent on the financial situation. We've gone into the black for the first time, but only because of money invested by the board. If the board decides to cut the wage budget, I will probably resign as I just don't see how I can improve the squad dramatically without an adequate budget to spend on new signings - the squad is already too small, and further cuts would make the situation untenable.

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More than decent season. Shame you couldn't keep your good form going, otherwise you'd more than likely ended up as champions!

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More than decent season. Shame you couldn't keep your good form going, otherwise you'd more than likely ended up as champions!

Yeah, it's a little disappointing but I'm hoping we can make up for it this season. We've started very well, but I've just received some pretty bad news:

fabianmllernewsinbox5.png

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Well, apparently some people just considered that injury an opportunity. Thus far, Keltjes has exceeded all my expectations.

persijapvpersiksplitvie.png

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You got some solid players with your club. Kurniawan has good potential (and I think he's good enough to play abroad, like in one of my FM12 saves, as most of the Indonesian national team play football in Indonesia).

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Great reaction from the team.

They really did a lot of battling - I even had to use some grey players at one point. Thankfully, we pulled some fantastic results out of the bag. Again though, I think I'm suffering from late-season blues... I suspect that the size of the squad is always going to cause issues.

You got some solid players with your club. Kurniawan has good potential (and I think he's good enough to play abroad, like in one of my FM12 saves, as most of the Indonesian national team play football in Indonesia).

Yeah, I have a few great players and I'm looking forward to seeing how their careers pan out. I know you're something of an expert on FM in Asia, but this is all still a bit alien to me. Mind you, it's not dramatically different in terms of gameplay to European football - the only things getting me are that the budgets are incredibly low, given the wages that the players expect. And the foreign players bug is incredibly frustrating - there should be far more Indonesians playing in the league but instead we're just loaded with South Americans, none of whom I can sign. Nonetheless, it's a good challenge.

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I regret to say that my experience with Persijap has come to an end. We were knocked out of the Indonesian Cup, courtesy of an away goal scored in the 120th minute of the game (yes, really), by a team far inferior to Persijap. The board were on my back about the appalling league performances, and I was fed up with the team's ineptitude. I'll go into more detail in the full season review, but it was utterly bizarre.

So, onto Italy with Teramo Calcio.

75px-Teramo_Calcio_logo.png

They are presently 14th in Serie C2/A, and just one point from the relegation zone. I have 5 games to save them. Game on :)

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Season 4 Review - 2014/2015

Persijap

Where did it all go wrong? I'm still not really sure. It was a similar story to the first season - we began in terrific fashion, destroying the rest of the league and sitting 6 points clear at the top of the table. Then, a bizarre situation arose. 6 of my best players were called up to the Indonesian national team, and stayed there for over a month even though no matches were being played. I didn't have enough players to fill my bench sometimes, and even wound up using grey players.

Bizarrely though, the team was excellent. For that period, we won 6 games, drew 2, and lost one. Once the international players arrived back, fresh from their 3 week rest, we were useless. We lost two games in a row, then drew. Jhon van Beukering, my best striker in Munawar's absence, managed to go 28 hours without scoring.

Talking of Munawar, remember his 3 month injury? Well, it actually took him out of the equation for well over 4 months. With him having the highest average rating in the team, it's no surprise that it hurt my scoring abilities.

I'm still not 100% sure what the cause of the collapse in form was, but I suspect it's related to the small squad. There's no pressure on the players to perform - when they play badly, I can scarcely drop them. Furthermore, they suffer from jadedness pretty badly by the end. After I left, the new manager brought some excellent form out of them, so I know I've built a good squad but they just don't have anything like the mental fortitude needed to actually hold it together.

I was tempted to stay and try to crack the Champions League, but I thought it was best to call it a day. The financial situation was still horrific, the squad was far too small and there was no hope of increasing its size. Furthermore, the bugs were really beginning to frustrate me. The other teams were strengthening with foreign players they shouldn't have had, mine spent 3 weeks on international duty when no matches were being played, and it felt as though nearly every club was slowly going bankrupt. Going back to a league which wasn't suffering from these bugs seemed like a no-brainer when it became increasingly frustrating. Ultimately it was a bit of a rage-quit, but I don't regret it - I'd promised the board 1st place, and there was no hope of achieving it. What else could I do?

I'm still very interested in the careers of Munawar, Keltjes, Fauzi and Kurniawan as I think they're excellent players with big futures, but sadly I'll have to follow them from a distance now.

Teramo

Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Teramo are in a terrible state. When I arrived, they were one point from the relegation spots with five games remaining. They had no staff other than one scout and one physio, were over £350k in debt, and around 50% over their wage budget.

I am unable to meet the wage requirements of a single member of staff (all of them want more than the board will let me offer), so I was stuck with the one scout and one physio. The squad were deflated, and the form of most of the players was appalling, some with an average of around 6.1. So, what happened?

In the first game, we had a crucial match against the bottom-placed team Cosenza. My squad were really up for it after a bit of pre-match encouragement, and we completely outplayed them, restricting them to just one shot on target. An easy 2-0 victory secured us a 4 point lead over the relegation places. Our next game saw us play 3rd placed Messina, and the media had us down for a thrashing. We had some great chances, but ultimately lost the game 1-0. I was pleased with the performance though, and the players were apparently equally pleased. Of course though, good performances mean little at the end of the season. Our next game, away against AlzanoCene would be crucial - they sat in the playoff places, and again we were down for a thrashing. Thankfully, the players built on their previous match, and responded in style. Again, we turned in an excellent performance, but this time we got the goals as well, beating them 3-0. From this point, it was obvious that we would be safe. The 6 points gained had brought us into the clear, and despite losing the next two games were still sat 2 points clear of relegation playoffs.

League Table

Finances - We've lost a lot of money this season, but if I can slash the wage costs you never know - we might just rebuild our finances.

Next Season

It may not have been scintillating stuff for the last 5 games, but it was exactly what was required. We're still in the league, and next season we can revamp and rebuild.

It certainly won't be easy though. We need to cut salaries drastically, I can't sign any staff at the moment (so I have no idea of any player's potential), and the club is heavily in debt. I've managed to get a player/assistant manager, since I have more flexibility with players' wages, but he won't arrive until the end of his previous contract in the summer, and until he arrives it's going to be difficult to know exactly where I stand. Thankfully I have one scout, so I can start looking for new players but it'll be a very slow process.

Should I have stayed at Port Talbot? Probably, but it's been an interesting experience that I wouldn't have had there. And you never know, I might be able to turn things around at Teramo.

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Well, I kept my job, but no investment sadly :(

I've been linked to three jobs already though - Oldham, Hereford and Stuttgarter K. in the German Third Division, so my stay may be curtailed anyway.

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Season 5 Review - 2015/2016

Having saved Teramo from relegation, the board asked me to get a safe mid-table position in this new season. We started off very poorly, failing to win until the fourth game of the season, and it looked as though it might be a very long struggle against relegation. I'm not quite sure why, but this league seems to have very high salary expectations - I can't get anybody signed up for less than £325 p/w, and £400 is a typical expectation. For a team in such dire financial straits as Teramo, that really isn't sustainable, and I've been losing money hand over fist. I'm also unable to sign any staff members whatsoever. I have one physio, one scout, one player/assistant manager, and the physio and scout are refusing to sign new contracts. There is not one member of staff that will agree to sign for me, even scouts with obscure reputations and JPA and JPP of about 3 will demand £350, and walk away when I offer the maximum wage permitted of £325. Unless the board sort it out soon, I might be forced to walk - I can't do my job without a single scout.

Things picked up a bit though, and whilst we never blitzed the league, by the end of the season we were just outside the play-off places. Disappointingly, we drew our final two games, finishing just four points away from the final play-off position. We still wouldn't have made it, as our goal difference wasn't particularly impressive, but it's food for thought. Even so, had we reached it, it would've been a travesty - it was completely undeserved, and I'm utterly gobsmacked that we did as well as we did. The squad is a real motley crew, but unlike Persijap, they were able to hold their nerve. Despite a very young average age (22), we didn't let our heads drop at any point and we were up and challenging for every game. I was particularly pleased to see that in our hardest games of the season we were really able to bunker down and keep things together. The eventual league winners, Taranto, scored 72 goals in 38 games, and the 2nd placed team, Perugia, scored 79 in 38. Unsurprisingly, they won all four games with us, but on each occasion we lost by just 1 goal and could easily have drawn the games if it weren't for late winners and freak goals. In terms of goals conceded, we were 2nd in the league, but were 13th in goals scored - you can see where our problems lie.

We do have a good strike force though, with Brunetti and Noviello grabbing 29 league goals between them and an average rating of 7.09 and 7.38 respectively. The midfield has been the big disappointment, with none of the players really putting a marker down this season. The highest rated midfielder who played exclusively in midfield was Fabio Giordano with 6.90, who was signed as an assistant manager, not a player. Excellent. Vaccaro had the most assists from midfield, with a total of 5. So tyes, our target for next season has to be a better central midfield. I don't think I'm going to abandon the 4-1-2-1-2 just yet though, I've invested too much in it now unless some excellent wingers become available and I lose my DM and AM specialists.

League Table - Results

Serie C Cup - A great start that mislead me as to our true capabilities - the 1st round was close, and we were unlucky to lose on penalties, but the board were happy and it allowed us to concentrate on the league so no complaints there.

Squad Overview - Just shows that you don't need great players to perform well. I've got better squad depth here at Teramo than I did at Perijap, but I'll need to let a lot of the big earners leave at the end of the season, so I could lose that valuable quality. Anything over about £500 p/w isn't really sustainable in my eyes, even if they're a star. Cannoni will probably be leaving, despite being one of only two 5-star potential players on the books. I was lucky enough to get Cappelletti on loan from my parent club, Palermo, but his contract expires at the end of the season so I'm not expecting to see him return next season. I'm very pessimistic.

Finances - Yet another year aided by investment, I'm not sure how much longer this can continue. If I can't slash the wage budget sufficiently, another of my managerial experiences will be curtailed by finance.

Key Players

Daniel Pandolfo - Reliable keeper who has received some rather unfair low ratings over the course of the season (just like last season then). Luckily he's very young for a keeper, so things will only get better from here.

Francesco Bellitta - It's great to have a defender who can play both left and right back, and Bellitta has done both jobs expertly. He's got bags of potential, but with a salary of £750 and conviction that he deserves a pay rise, this will be his last season with Teramo.

Giorgio Novello - A striker who I wasn't utterly convinced about, Noviello was signed primarily because he agreed to join and I was desperate. He isn't great, allegedly one of the worst players in the squad, but performed fantastically. I may keep him next year, but again he has a big salary that might prove to be his downfall.

Nicolo Brunetti - A youngster, only 18, who scored just 2 goals in this league last year with Gubbio and got an average rating of 6.48. I decided to give him another chance, and it really paid off, with him bagging 15 goals in the league. I desperately want to keep him, at 18 he's got a lot to give and he's signed up for another 4 years. With his salary though, he's another one with a big question mark over his head.

Giorgio Gori - Exactly the kind of player I want at Teramo - a 23 year-old centre back with good attributes in all the right areas, a salary of £450 p/w, and Mr Reliable with 6.98 average rating over 42 appearances. So, naturally, he wants a massive pay rise and will be leaving in the summer.

Next Season

I signed a new contract in May, so I'm tied to Teramo for another 12 months. I'm keen to stay here, because I have been fleeing on a fairly routine basis so far in this career, but I really haven't settled at Teramo. The situation with the staff is a joke, the situation with the players' wages isn't much better, and the finances are going down the drain. I was linked with about 100 jobs (no exaggeration) as my contract ran down, so I have a decent reputation in the game, but nothing wonderful came up. Port Talbot are undergoing a takeover however, and the manager's contract is running down with no sign of him signing a new one... if it becomes available, I may just resign from Teramo and attempt to finish what I started. That's probably just a pipe dream though...

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Season 6 Review - 2016

Teramo

Well, that was a bit of a disaster. I had to get rid of my top players, failed to replace them with anyone particularly talented, and we played like a bunch of turtles who had never met. Still no employable staff. 5 games into the season, I resigned.

Premature? Yes, absolutely. Teramo are presently just outside the play-off places without my help, and could scrape their way to promotion. I really wanted to stick at it, as I've jumped ship so many times now it's getting a bit silly, but I really wasn't enjoying myself there. The wage system is utterly bizarre - nobody will sign for less than £325 per week, and that's far more than I could afford to pay them. Part of what makes FM is building new squads, and Teramo just didn't give me that opportunity, much like Persijap. So I decided to take a bit of time over the next position, and ensure I joined a club a bit more suited to my interests.

Umea FC

After my resignation, I sent an application in to Umea FC in Sweden's First Division North, and before I'd even cleared my desk in Italy the chairman rang me up to offer me the job. Before he got a chance to see my CV, I quickly accepted and jumped in a plane.

I suppose I had 7 games to save the club from relegation, but they were never going to be relegated, so it wasn't particularly excited. On the plus side, I had an opportunity to get a feel for how the team performs.

We won the first three games with 7 scored, and 0 conceded, so I suppose we've got a solid defence and a potent attack. We then lost 5-1 and 4-1 in consecutive games, showing that we have an inept defence and an unreliable attack. We then won 5-2, showing that we have both an inept defence and a potent attack. I've settled on 'inconsistent'.

So, by virtue of the different seasons, this was a very short one - 12 games in total. The Umea squad is being somewhat rebuilt at the moment, so it's hard to really analyse in too much detail what has happened. The league restricts me to only 3 non-homegrown players in each match squad, so I will definitely need to focus on the youth team and the players let go by the top sides, but how well that will go I'm not sure. On the plus side, we've just signed an affiliate agreement with Helsingsborgs so I may be able to attract some talent from there. A Henrik Larsson or two would go down nicely.

League Table

Squad Overview - A nice spread of players, with some extremely talented individuals. I've brought in two strikers in Skenderovic and Issah, who could go far, along with Rami Fredriksson in midfield and Hallenius in goal. Given the league restrictions, I think it's going to be hugely important to get some good youth players in who are homegrown.

Finances - A club that isn't screwed financially! A bit of Swedish organisation is much appreciated compared to those crazy Italians ;)

Key Players

Jeremy Smith - An American striker who has been at the club for 5 years now, he has always been a bit average and was having a very poor season when I joined. For me, up top, he has been spectacular though, hitting 7.4 average in his last 5 for the club. Expecting him to really push on next season.

Muhamed Skenderovic - Let go by AIK, the Bosnian striker looks to be a great talent. Composure could be better, but I suspect he'll be able to get in behind the defence on a fairly routine basis - and at 20, there's a long way for him to go yet.

Justin Issah - The third striker at the club, a Nigerian who started off in the USA. He's still not reached his potential yet, and maybe he never will, but for £110 p/w it seemed like a no-brainer. I want to make sure that Skenderovic and Smith are looking over their shoulders, and Issah should hopefully keep them on their toes.

Richard Wikberg - An 18 year old centreback with a steady, reliable season and bags of potential. He's got assets in all the right areas, so he may be another one to watch.

Erik Lundstrom - One of the most experienced players at the club, the central midfielder is going into his 8th season at Umea. He's probably our best player by a long shot, having achieved a rating over 7.2 in all but one of his seasons at the club. When I arrived, the media suggested he might be on the way out but he seems happy so far and he's a club icon so fingers crossed he'll stay around. Hopefully he can maintain his reliability next season and fire us to success.

Next Season

My target is simple: promotion. It will be incredibly tough, with just one automatic promotion place and a play-off with the bottom club in the division above, but hey, we've got to aim high. I'm hoping we can make a few more signings before the transfer window is out, and with the club in a healthy financial position I should be able to keep things under control.

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Hope you manage to turn their fortunes around.

Cheers, and thanks for all of your comments - they're much appreciated!

In other news, apparently I'm going up in the world:

fabianmllernewsinbox9.png

Newcastle may be a Championship club now, and I'm sure I'd never get the job if it came up, but it's very pleasing to be linked.

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