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FM14: The Sky Bet Football League Thread - Sponsored by William Hill

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in my third season with forest, 2nd in the premier. need a prolific goalscorer between 8 -12m (£). any ideas?

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Ah, I see, and you only had about £400k to start with? If it's any consolation, he was available for free at the end of season 2 in my game - your patience may be rewarded! Hope you're enjoying it so far.

I was just doing a mammoth update. Like you, I can't really do a match-by-match report now, but in 'the windows' it's a good time to write more, also at the end of the season.

Mine will be sort of every 8 or so games probably or extra during the windows etc and end of season as you say. Looking forward to your next one anyway pal

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Welcome along WI5ARD and good luck with Wolves. Batth was very good on FM13, hopefully you won't regret that sale. They obviously have a very strong squad, so it should be a fairly routine task to get them promoted, but there is a challenge to reduce the wage bill. An interesting fact about Kevin Walker: he used to take time off from football to go and perform as a singer, won Swedish Idol 2013, and landed a recording contract (he still combines music and football). Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I do NOT follow Pop Idol in any country, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

haha - you love a deadlock lol -Ref Batth, had already agreed deals to loan Wisdom and Llori from Liverpool on top of signing Boyata from Man City giving me 5 good centre backs, so financially it made sense in the short term. Also got John Flannagan on loan from LFC (and yes i'm a liverpool fan) all of the 3 loanee's are costing me nothing and with still being in all the cups its allowing me good cover and hopefully get a good relationship with them to sign them next season as then Flanagan and Wisdom are i think on the last year of the contract.

Using various formations and tactics, mainly the Fulcrum which is a very solid base but its player specific - enjoying it immensely as its a marathon not a race - Champions League in 5 seasons thats the dream!

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oh and beat burnley in the next round of the Capital One cup, again going through on Pens - wembley here we come!

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@WI5ARD, I'm so pleased that I have no idea what a deadlock means! I haven't lived in UK for some years (or ever in Sweden), but saw that story, IIRC, in World Soccer some months back.

I understand why you sold Batth in that case (interestingly in the news about a new contract today IRL), and hopefully your plan comes off with your Liverpool loanees. You must know Plainlayzee, or be his pupil :lol:

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Welcome MrSundlofer, starts don't get much better than that! They have a good squad, and you're proving it with no transfers in or out. Nice to see a 352, I haven't tried that since PSG in FM13 so will have to remedy that myself sometime.

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Welcome along WI5ARD and good luck with Wolves. Batth was very good on FM13, hopefully you won't regret that sale. They obviously have a very strong squad, so it should be a fairly routine task to get them promoted, but there is a challenge to reduce the wage bill. An interesting fact about Kevin Walker: he used to take time off from football to go and perform as a singer, won Swedish Idol 2013, and landed a recording contract (he still combines music and football). Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I do NOT follow Pop Idol in any country, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

OK, back to football, and a summary of my start to season 3 at Portsmouth...

Transfers In: Joshua Murphy (Norwich, loan extension), Mats Daehli (Molde, loan), Evander Sno (ADO Den Haag, £20k), Anthony O'Connor (Blackburn, free), Isak Sswankambo (Chelsea, free), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield, free), Stipe Perica (Chelsea, loan), Riyad Mahrez (Chamois Niortais, £80k), Yuval Shpungin (free agent), Jonathan Soriano (RB Salzburg, loan £18.75k p/m fee), Baptiste Martin (KV Kortrijk, loan).

Transfers Out: John Sullivan (free), Tom Craddock (free), David Connolly (free), Danny East (free), Kim Jae-Heon (free), Sonny Bradley (Morton, free), Andy Barcham (Exeter, loan), Lewis Horsburgh (Bath, loan), Jack Whatmough (Fleetwood, loan), Adam Webster (Crewe, loan), Jack Maloney (Eastbourne, loan), Mark Pelosi (Newport, loan), Bradley Tarbuck (Chelmsford, loan).

Staff Additions: Andrea Loberto (U21 Manager), Enzo Scifo (coach), Dave Watson (coach), Mark Dempsey (coach), Roberto Gemmi (scout).

Staff Departure: Alan McLoughlin (released).

Squad review 2015/2016

Goalkeepers: An area of the squad that I decided to leave untouched. Lee Camp will remain first choice, but Aaron McCarey is an able deputy and will continue to get first team action during Cup competitions, and when Camp is away on duty for Northern Ireland. The youngster is also designated as my U21 starting 'keeper.

Defenders: My back-four all made more than 50 appearances last season, and have the opportunity to do the same again. After two successful years on loan, I have finally been able to sign Anthony O'Connor permanently when his contract at Blackburn expired. Competition at right-back will come in the form of Yuval Shpungin, a current Israeli international with a decent number of caps, so O’Connor may also get some opportunities in the centre. In the middle, club captain Aaron Martin will be a key player again, and I have also re-loaned his reliable partner, Baptiste Martin, from KV Kortrijk following a solid season with us last year. Joel Lynch, a left-sided central defender is another option following a free transfer move from Huddersfield, and he will also provide cover for my regular left-back, Dan Butler. In reserve we have youngsters Adam Webster and Jack Whatmough, who have featured this season but were granted short-term loans at their request, and a raw talent in Isak Ssewankambo, who was taken from Chelsea and joins my U21 squad.

Midfielders: The central positions will be assigned to the usual trio of Simon Ferry, Jed Wallace and Romain Padovani, with back-up from Joe Partington. Added to this pool are ex-Celtic midfielder Evander Sno, and young Norwegian prospect Mats Daehli. The Dutchman joins for a modest fee and has a chance to try and fulfil the promise he showed earlier in his career. The young Norwegian should offer some creativity in a variety of midfield roles whilst on loan, and is a similar type to Ryan Mason. The left-flank will again be served by Joshua Murphy, back for a third year on loan. However, I also purchased French left-winger Riyad Mahrez, who will challenge him strongly for that honour. There is a lack of a natural right-winger, but I will make mention of that a little later.

Strikers: After an impressive first season, Patrick N’Koyi will again be expected to deliver goals, whilst Ashley Harris and Dan Holman remain in the mix. Also arriving on loan, we have Stipe Perica, a highly-rated young Croatian from Chelsea, and Jonathan Soriano. The Spaniard was once at Barcelona and has a superb scoring record for RB Salzburg amongst others, so should be able to justify the monthly loan fee required to secure his services.

Those that got away: I include this just to throw up some names that other managers may want to consider, and to give more details on what really took place during the off-season. Hopefully it's something that some of you don't mind reading.

In defence, I came close to landing Dwight Tiendalli, before settling on Shpungin for a further right-back option. Leeds accepted a transfer fee for Jason Pearce to take the central left-sided role, but he would not lower his wage demands and I turned to Tommy Spurr instead. He agreed a free transfer but I thought the overall costs were too much, meaning Lynch got the spot. I still wanted a strong, starting centre-back, and Efe Ambrose was the man identified. He was available on a Bosman deal and after lengthy negotiations he eventually agreed my offer - before sadly choosing another option. My second choice was Tomislav Barbaric from Croatia, but his club wanted way above his current value. My last real attempt was for Chico Flores, stuck in the reserves of my new parent club, Swansea. A loan deal was within reach but when he decided to head back to Spain, I settled on a renewed loan for Baptiste Martin instead.

In midfield, the Swans also accepted my offer for Liam Trotter, but he wasn't interested, whilst Jordan Veretout was priced out of my reach despite being in Nantes reserve side. I wanted to re-loan Ryan Colclough for the right-wing, but Liverpool weren't allowing it. Middlesbrough did accept a transfer fee for Albert Adomah, but he would not accept my maximum wage, whilst free agent Jamie Paterson did accept my offer, but then took a better deal elsewhere. Napoli would not allow their youngster Gennaro Tutino to leave on loan, and although Craig Noone did agree terms, I had reservations about the wage demands of the free agent and cancelled the deal at the last minute. I have taken a decision to use wide midfielders for this role, in a less attacking 'supportive' manner, but might consider using Mahrez on his 'wrong side' if the need for a second winger becomes necessary.

In attack, my prime target had been Toto Tamuz (an interesting case of residency), and I put a mountain of effort in to making a package he would accept. Unfortunately his work permit was refused, even on appeal, and I had to look at other options. Spurs then accepted £100k plus some small add-on extras for Jermain Defoe, but he wouldn't even talk to me - neither would Anthony Martial after Monaco agreed my loan offer. In the end Perica, and in particular Soriano, seemed reasonable recruits.

On the pitch, the early part of the season

I scheduled a very short pre-season with just three fixtures, and althought it went well, N'Koyi and Aaron Martin were injured in the first. My top two men would miss four weeks and three weeks respectively, including the big kick-off. Unfortunately, August brought further injury strife as Ferry (three months), O'Connor (two weeks), and Soriano (two months) woud also become unavailable. Due to the £18.75k p/m loan fee, I considered terminating Soriano's loan - but eventually decided against it as he had already grabbed a couple of goals in his first few matches. After a delayed start, N'Koyi returned and fired three league goals by the end of the first month. Unfortunately, he then suffered another injury and will be missing the next four weeks, as will Evander Sno who get taken off in the same game. It may be time to recall some of the youngsters that I allowed to leave on short-term loan deals, although my U21 squad is strong, so I do have some other youngsters available for selection. We are in the top six after the first six league games (scoring and conceding more than I expected), but were knocked out in Round 2 of the Capital One Cup.

Jogo I have only just found this my friend, not sure how I missed it!!! Some good signings there, Joel Lynch has been very good for me at the heart of my defence so I am sure he will be good for you, especially on a free!! Is Evander Sno?? It feels like he played for Celtic about 20 years ago, how old is he??

Soriano is being linked with some pretty big teams IRL if I am not mistaken? Arsenal etc?

Looking forward to your next in depth 'in season' update!

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November

Following our run of draws/defeats I decided to shake things up a bit and move to a very odd formation. I figured that I was happy with a back 4 and I like a holding player, but the rest of the players effectively look like they have just been thrown onto the tactics board. For example, I have a right winger, but no left winger....maybe more about that at a later stage.

Anyway, we started November with a very tricky away game to table topping Wigan. Owen Coyle had been extremely aggressive and disrespectful in the build up so I was determined to take something from the game. We managed to secure a 1-1 draw despite them dominating for large sections.

Next up was Birmingham at home. Yet again we decided that if we want to win, we need to outscore out opponents as clean sheet seem to be impossible. A 3-2 courtesy of on loan Max Clayton, John Stead and David Bentley was much needed. Our first win in 6 games! Next up was an away trip to high flying local rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Again Max Clayton is his new Louis Suarez esc advanced wondering striker role came up trumps, scoring one and setting up the other as we won 2-1. We followed this up with a superb 2-0 home win against bottom of the table Burnely, a win that moved us into 7th in the table and just 1 point outside the play offs. Clayton again scored.

December

December started with a very difficult away trip to Bolton Wanderers who were sitting 5th at the time. Therefore this gave us the opportunity to really close on those teams above us. Despite them having 12 shots on target to our 3, we managed to win the game 3-0!!! A huge away win, another clean sheet and 2 more goals for the currently unstoppable Max Clayton.

Our most recent result and the last of this update was another away win, this time 1-0 at Ipswich with James Vaughan scoring on his return from a 4 weeks injury lay off.

So thats that for now, after not winning for 5 games we then won our next 5 and have started to finally keep some clean sheets! Clayton has hit some decent form and hopefully if we can continue this run we can hang in and around those play off places and perhaps push on if we can bring in one or two in January.

Our next games are (H) Reading, (A) Brighton, (H) Derby and (H) Yeovil. 3 games at home and all are very winnable.

On a side note, I have been handed a new contract with 1 additional year added on, plus 200k to spend and a small wage budget increase too.

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Plainlayzee, more like i'm his father lol - I'm a Gen1 CM player for all 21 years of its CM/FM existence, back in the era were Nil Lampty was King and Rahem Stirling Ma and Da hadnt even been to first base yet.

Right back to wolves - mid December, unbeaten in the league with over 40 points, got destroyed by Newcastle in Capital One Cup, and put out in Johnston Paint trophy by Halifax town! where is the drugs test button, as their keeper was on something. Then the fun began, big teams sniffing round my players and have a real decision to make.

Sako - C Palace/Hull/West Ham all interested, his value is 3.4m, rejected en query's, no concrete bids but he wants to talk to them but hasn't handed in a transfer request! Now he is not first team anymore, so very tempted to cash!

Edwards - Celtic have bid 1m cash upfront, same as sako not first team anymore and tempted.

Davis - Celtic again, have bid 2.5m in a creative way with clauses/48mths/appearances etc but first team

Spearman - Cardiff/WHU/C Palace, valued at 1.3m, again not first team, if someone offers me over 2m i'd bite as could maybe do a permanent deal for Wisdom and have 5 centre backs already.

R Johnson & Hennessy - no one is after them but wants to play at a higher level.

Only injury i have is Doyle who is out for another month, Jamie O'Hara is back in training but really doesn't fit formation, thou no-one interested as was injured so dont think i could sell him if i tried.

bottom line - if i sell all of above would leave me with squad of 18 players, reduce wage bill, increase wage budget BUT unsettle a winning squad on he road to promotion. THOUGH would have a fun transfer window wheeling and dealing.

What's everyone's view?

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Personally I prefer to try and make as few changes as possible. I've seen it in saves before where I've taken over a cash-strapped team and been very frugal for two seasons and done well, then gone a bit nuts in the transfer market when money was available and cocked things up.

I think if they are not getting games and you have cover for them, then selling I think is probably valid. I would shy away from selling for the sake of it and disrupting a winning squad though.

I'm desperately missing FM now. The shakes have started. :D

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Started again with Hartlepool, it's going extremely well!

Top of League 2, unbeaten in 10 games. Through to the Captial One Cup 4th Round (We've already scalped Notts Forest, Burnley and Norwich! We've now got a glamour tie at Liverpool)

Luke James is an animal at this level - 10 goals and 7 assists so far!

We've signed:

Eddie Nolan - DR/L - Scunthorpe - Free Transfer

Luke Giverin - DL/AML/AMR - Free Transfer

Ian Bermingham - DL/ML - St Pats Athletic - £8k (Converted this guy into a ML - He's turned into a lower league Gareth Bale)

Dean Parrett - MC/MR - Free Transfer

Trying to build a young core team. Aside from Steve Howard, our average age is about 22/23!

I'm looking into finding some DCs (To replace the outgoing Christian Burgess and aging Sam Collins), a striker (Steve Howard's heir) and possibly another centre-mid.

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Matt Smith would be a good option to replace Howard. He does quite well even in the championship if you play him consistently

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@Plainlayzee. Thanks, I think my post was at a similar time to yours, it's easy to miss when that happens. Soriano is indeed a great player, I almost started a save with RB Salzburg to benefit from him amongst others, but he is only 29 in my game so should be good for at least this season on loan. His early injury was a disappointment, but he is almost ready to return now. Interestingly, my primary striking target, Toto Tamuz, who was available for free but failed a work permit, has since moved to Russia and is back in the Israeli national team. Unfortunately, although he may qualify for a WP because of that, he is now valued at £1.3m and on wages I could not meet anyway. Regarding Lynch, he has featured a couple of times but is a bench option because he provides cover for both CB and LB positions. Sno is only 27 or 28, in season 3, but yes it does seem like a long, long time ago he was at Celtic. He should be fit to return in a couple of weeks too, and N'Koyi also. I'm in September, IIRC, and still around the play-off places, which is much better than was expected. If that continues it may give me the luxury of adjusting my target from avoid relegation to mid-table, if that would give me a boost for the January window. Time will tell how form goes between now and then.

Great to see your boys coming in to form, and Clayton in particular. I managed him for a few seasons at Crewe in FM13 and he was fairly good. But he seems to have really settled in to your side, with plenty of goals. With Vaughan about to return, goals shouldn't be a problem, and your defence seems to be improving. I sense a new left-winger is on the way to Town? I'm not in to guessing who that might be, haha. I'm interested to see what your formation is too, at some point.

@WI5ARD, fair enough on the age thing, no offence intended! The Wolves save is interesting, especially now that the offers are coming in. I wouldn't sell players I wanted, for the sake of fees, but if you have big-earners not vital to your progress, stuck in the reserves, or coming to end of contract, I would take the money. I'd rather have a good player from the original pool, than a new player of the same ability/value, as it keeps it more realistic. From a results perspective, I try and keep my team fairly constant. Whilst my numbers look high in the transfer market, alot of my players continue loans from previous years, or sign after loan spells with me. Not many of my signings are completely 'new' to the squad, and of those that are, most have to fight their way in to the team.

@MeesterCat, hang in there fella! I'm sure that the wait is good for maintaining enthusiasm levels, and it's giving time to plan how to pick it up from where you left off. I pretty much agree with your advice to WI5ARD above on the transfer activity.

@Spiegel, I like the 'building a young team' approach, something I always do myself. I have an irrational dislike for anybody over 30 in FM, and always phase them out at that age. I don't even usually offer contracts beyond 30 to new signings, although my 'keeper Lee Camp has just triggered an extension clause due to appearances made this (his final) season. I have two loanees (30 and 29) and reckon the average age of my squad is about 22/23 too. I have seen James perform very well in FM13 and FM14, and he's exactly the type of player you can build a lower league save around. Bermingham also seems to do well, so that's a good buy. The others give you lots of versatility, ideal if running a fairly small squad. Good luck, that's a great start made.

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right my burnley save went belly up so going to start again will update soon on the new save

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@Jogo Bonito - no offence taken. the 5 players in question, I wanted to keep at the start so RENEWED their contracts to keep them sweet and also get their values up and try to scare off any bids (that worked well lol)! KNow i can sell them and replace them but its the squad happiness and tactical cohesion that worries me more. Will wait and see if and what bids do come in, and also what bargains i can pick up in the sales as Wolves still has a good rep and can attract lower prem players still - plus can offer wages up to 30k, madness for league 1!

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@Jogo Bonito - no offence taken. the 5 players in question, I wanted to keep at the start so RENEWED their contracts to keep them sweet and also get their values up and try to scare off any bids (that worked well lol)! KNow i can sell them and replace them but its the squad happiness and tactical cohesion that worries me more. Will wait and see if and what bids do come in, and also what bargains i can pick up in the sales as Wolves still has a good rep and can attract lower prem players still - plus can offer wages up to 30k, madness for league 1!

£30k p/w, wow that is madness! If the men in question are playing regularly, performing well, have some time on their contracts, and are not breaking the bank/structure in wages, I'd probably keep them for the continuation of cohesion etc. Also, if you plan to get to the top, and Europe, the HG status could be useful - that may be relevant to some of them? Finally, £1m in a sale doesn't get you too far by the time the agent fees and bonuses are added to the deals on new players. Even free transfers demand quite alot. Maybe a compromise, keep some, sell some? Good luck and hoping it works out for you!

@bfc, sorry, missed your post. What went wrong at Burnley? Good luck in your next attempt!

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If anyone needs a creative MC for League 1 level, I'd suggest having a look for Marc Mateu. You might need the Spanish leagues loaded to find him. Got him for my Colchester side and he's only on £975 a week, a bargain for the skills he has.

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MrSundlofer, yes the links to those clubs must be very useful and it's quite a European flavour in the Watford squad. Hopefully the likes of Murray, Hoban will still be there when you get to Europe (HG quota).

Hi jac, back at Colchester? It's good to see the recommendation of a different player for those in L1/L2.

Can I ask you all, I'm still on version 14.1.4 as I have to play offline here. I found the ME before this was poor, and couldn't get in to it. I know there have been several updates since, but could I ask if any of you have experienced pros/cons between 14.1.4 (which I like) and the current version, which I think is 14.2.2?

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@Jogo, yeah I'm trying with Colchester. I keep ragequitting 5/6 games into the season because the tactic I set up seems to fall apart all to quickly. :( Doesn't help that tactical familiarity, despite a full pre season like Cleon details in the tactics forum, is barely even competent. I'm so impatient. Hopefully this current save will be better.

For the 14.2 patches and onwards, there are a few things. Firstly, it will probably alter your tactical familiarity as there was a bug with it in previous versions. There are also a few issues with defending and goalkeepers. You may spot a few more if you were to update.

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Cheers jac, I like a mean defence (though not happening so far in season 3) in which case maybe my current version will be best for now. I will wait for some more views on that.

In the meantime, stay calm and let the tactic sort itself out. I doubt if 5/6 weeks is long enough to get everything working like clockwork. Even if it does, results aren't guaranteed, the AI can also get good results from time to time.

October 2015 at Fratton Park, and I have just been able to offer deals to two free agents. Zambian international Rainford Kalaba has no agent and would accept a wage of £2.5k p/w (for two years, although I may sell after one year if he has some re-sale value). The second deal, is for a one-year contract with former club great Yakubu, who is now 32 and would agree £5.5k p/w until the end of the season. The plan would be to try and keep him on as a coach after his retirement. I haven't completed either one yet, but I'm tempted to add some African flair to my ranks. All sane comments (talking me out of either/both) welcome!

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Cheers jac, I like a mean defence (though not happening so far in season 3) in which case maybe my current version will be best for now. I will wait for some more views on that.

In the meantime, stay calm and let the tactic sort itself out. I doubt if 5/6 weeks is long enough to get everything working like clockwork. Even if it does, results aren't guaranteed, the AI can also get good results from time to time.

October 2015 at Fratton Park, and I have just been able to offer deals to two free agents. Zambian international Rainford Kalaba has no agent and would accept a wage of £2.5k p/w (for two years, although I may sell after one year if he has some re-sale value). The second deal, is for a one-year contract with former club great Yakubu, who is now 32 and would agree £5.5k p/w until the end of the season. The plan would be to try and keep him on as a coach after his retirement. I haven't completed either one yet, but I'm tempted to add some African flair to my ranks. All sane comments (talking me out of either/both) welcome!

Sounds like a great couple of signings there mate, Yakubu would be a real crowed favorite and can surely bang a few goals in at that level? Never heard of Kalaba, sure it's minimal wage and a possible profit in 12 months. Do both!

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It's tempting! Kalaba who has 78 caps for Zambia, and is 29 at this point, is a creative attacking midfielder. The WP request has been submitted. As for Yakubu, well, it's purely a nostalgic one! I asked for my transfer budget to be increased by the board (I had about £200k but was maxed on the wages) and the board said they appreciated and trusted my financial control. I thought they may give me an increase to about £300k, but they came back with this...

LawrenceHicks_NewsInbox_zps17ef4d03.png

Yes, thanks, £4.98m should see me through :eek:

Edit: Work permits for both players were granted, and both signed on. They made their debut a few days later at Charlton, and my squad also featured the returns of Soriano, N'Koyi and Sno from significant injuries. Yakubu started, and set up Soriano for the opener in the first half. Kalaba came off the bench, and set up Soriano for his match-winning (2-1) second in stoppage time. Nice start for them both, although I'm not sure if every week will be so profitable! Now, how to fit all these attacking players in to my team, even poor N'Koyi could only make the bench!

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Morning all - end of December and transfer window is only a click away, no more bids and not pushing to sell unless a player puts a transfer request in - Deal for Edwards to Celtic was already done so had been keeping an eye out for transfer listed players that would improve my squad - Dan Gosling Newcastle 165k! - after a bit of haggling with Mr Ashley got him for 50k upfront, 80k over 48months, 50k after international appearance and a friendly! A good deal as all within budget i gave myself of 250k, 1/2 the upfront fee i got from Celtic for Edwards. Wages thou are high but a quality player that i was very surprised by in a previous newcastle save, so should rip it up in league 1.

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God I've done a right disappearing act. Will you forgive me guys?! Need to do an update, whenever I've started it, I've just played FM and then moved on.

I'm struggling on FM at the minute, not sure why, so all my attention is trying to avoid the sack..

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December continued

December continued with a home game against Reading. A 2-1 win at the John Smiths Stadium fired us up to 3rd in the table, all be it on goal difference and some 9 points behind Wigan and Leicester who are joint top. We followed this up with a respectable 1-1 draw at fellow play off hopefuls Brighton. Next up was a massive game against 4th place Derby County who had won their last 7 games in a row. An unbelievable performance and 2 goals from Max Clayton fired us to a 4-1 victory in front of just over 19,000 fans. A huge win and perhaps the first time I have seen us really play well against the biggest teams in the league. Unfortunately it was right back down to earth in our next home game against bottom of the table Yeovil, as we struggled to a 1-1 draw. 3rd play going into the new year was very good, and gives me hope of maintaining the form into the second half of the season.

January

January began with a superb 3-0 away win against lowly Burnley. This time Adam Clayton was the man of the show and scored 2 brilliant goals. In the FA Cup we faced a tough task of played Tottenham away from home. They dominated us from the first minute to the last really, beating us 2-0 and ending our cup involvement for the season.

The rest of the month was very mixed, a 2-1 home win against Millwall was followed up by a respectable away draw at QPR who were struggling around mid table at the time. Another massive win followed, this time 2-1 against Nottm Forrest who again were just behind us in the table at the time. Our inconsistencies continued though, with a 2-1 away defeat to Bournemouth in what was one of our worst performances of the season. We were still 3rd but only just, with Reading hot on our heels.

JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW UPDATE

It was a fairly quite month really as a lack of funds frustrated me throughout. I had intended to let the likes of Keith Southern, John Stead and Adam Hamill all leave the club due to their lack of appearances and high wages. Unfortunately no offers were forthcoming, other than a Charlton loan offer for Adam Hamill. After persuading them to pay me a monthly fee of 100k and 100% of his wages, I decided to let him go out until the end of the season. This also jumped my transfer budget up by 200k (now giving me 400k to play with). My scouts advised me that James Wallace, the ex Everton youngster, was available for around 250k. In the end a fee of 215k was agreed and the scouser joined us on a 3 year contract. I am really pleased to of brought him in as I really feel he will add something to the centre of our team. On deadline day we also wrapped up a deal for young Jordan McGhee to join in the summer from Hearts on a free transfer. Despite being just 17 my scouts believe he has the ability to be a Premier League centre back in the future.

February (part 1)

February has begun and it hasn't been great, two draws against Leeds and table topping Wigan meant more points dropped and those below us again close the gap. We are 4th in the table but 7th place is just 6 points behind us.

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HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Wolves save seasons 1

Mid January transfer window first season, as noted before sold Edwards for 1m, brought in Gosling and then from arsenal E Fingpong (sp) for 500k (made up of 100k upfront / 150k 48 months / 250k after 10 international appearances) and a friendly, and also Jacob Mellis from Barnsley 500k 48 months who had 6 months left on his contract. Seems all good right, board then tell me the following.

Very please with management, happy with league position, wages blah blah blahhhhhhh we're going to inject £10.3 MILLION INTO THE TRANSFER BUDGET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now some of you may not se this as a problem, but I've got 10 Million burning a whole in my pocket - like a child in a toy store with his birthday money! the next 2 weeks of the transfer window are going to be fun!

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WI5ARD: Haha, your board has gone as crazy as mine. I'm still a few months away from the winter window but have adjusted my £4.98m transfer boost down to about £3.5m, with some left spare for wages. I'm not planning to go mad though, I want to continue the good housekeeping strategy that got me this far. No wonder Pompey always end up in dire straits, with nonsense business decisions like they made for me. Your Wolves board clearly haven't given too much consideration to their double-relegations either.

Plainlayzee: Excellent position there in the league, not many defeats and enough draws and wins to keep you well in the mix. Nice to see a couple of young HG players joining you, good luck for the final few months of the season.

MB: Will await your updates as and when. If you're enjoying it, the actual playing should take preference over the writing!

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Quite enjoying it Jogo, I'm about three seasons in front of the writing. I'll dig out the previous post for you so the update actually makes some sense!

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Must stay patient... must stay patient... :lol:

6 goals conceded in my first two games of the season, I'd say 5 were because of errors (3 clear goalkeeping howlers and 2 defensive). Thankfully one of those games was against Wolves in the League Cup and there wasn't much chance of getting anything from that. We played well first half (matched them quite well and probably should've been level or better at HT, my IFs went clean through on goal about 5 times but every time were met with a miraculous recovery tackle, argh! Performance went downhill after half time, I may have contributed to our lack of offensive play second half as I messed around with a few players roles. Player tiredness didn't help either - most knackered by about the 60/70th minute mark). The first league game of the season was a bit of a disappointment, but the performance was mostly fairly decent. Finished 3-3, but we were 3-1 up and the 3 goals conceded were errors on our part.

Going to be long, hard slog in the league with the squad I've got. Hopefully the board will stick by me in the long term, they've stuck by Joey Dunne over the last year or so after some really rough patches in real life. Not sure why the season expectations are set to midtable for the start of the game, considering we finished one place outside the relegation zone in real life last season (and on the last day too).

Anyways, a question for some of you. If you choose to start with a team that's really poor for the league you start in, do you choose to create a tactic which hopes to just slug it out for the season and battle to stay up, or do you from the start attempt to create a style which you know will have plenty of bumps along the way but may pay off in the long run?

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MB, wow. If I was that far ahead in the game I would just do a quick write up or summary for each season. But that's because I'd forget what happened and how probably...

jac, it's like a self-help group :lol:. It's a good question you asked. Usually I'd set the team up to be hard to beat and hard to score against, rigid and counter with a very traditional, basic, uncomplicated formation. However, that's partly because I like 442 at L1 level or below, and mainly because I like to have a solid defence. I assume you went with Colchester because it would be a challenge, and slow progress - so keep calm and hopefully that will be mirrored by the board if you get the odd bad result.

For example, I have had two straight promotions with Portsmouth, and had a great start in the 3rd (Championship level). Added a couple of very good players to strengthen an already decent squad, and results have been at best inconsistent, and at worst awful in the last few months. I've slipped from 3rd to mid-table, and the team don't look anything like the side that I was watching earlier in the season. You have to ride the rough times until finding a way to turn it around - that's my current challenge. Well, that and trying to remind my defenders how to maintain concentration for 90 minutes.

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Yawn. The BS in games gets boring. Players go clean through several times, considerably slower defenders consistently seem to make miraculous recoveries and stop you from scoring.

Anyways, game against Port Vale was a joke. 5 CCCs, all golden opportunities, none go in. Corner in the last minute, 3 defenders go for the same ball and one smacks it against the other. None of the opposition went for it. Balls lands perfectly at the feet of the opposition striker 2 yards out to prod in. 1-1. Pfft. I need a new striker. Need a goalscorer from somewhere. My forwards are missing every good chance they get.

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Lost 1-0 against Sheffield United in the next game. Set us up to keep it tight, only conceded due to a ridiculous error by my winger. Should've gotten something from the game. Next game against Carlisle, completely abandoned my old tactical setup (lost a few players to injury) and just went out to try and get the win. Won 3-0. Two goals from corners and then a worldy from Jabo (Shame he doesn't do it enough, damned PPMs!) to seal it second half.

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Just finished my 3rd season with Coventry. After getting promoted to the Championship last season I again made a lot more changes than I originally planned.

9fm71d.jpg

As you can see most of the budget went on one player, a regen DM Danny Rodger. The other significant payout was on another regen, this time a winger Samuel Widenby Phersson. Managed to get a lot of the free agents on decent wages by offering them a 50% rise if promoted and 50% sell on clause.

soob49.jpg

It was a great season overall ending in reaching the Play-Off final against Ipswich

Probably should have went up automatically having been 4points clear with 6 games to go but a run of only 1 win in those games saw us get overtaken and end up finishing well behind the top 2.

Done quite well in both the FA & Capital One Cups but we were simply beaten by much better sides in the end.

Im hoping the board give a rather large budget for next season as the squads going to need a lot of changes, again, if we are to stay up.

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Jogo I'll do a proper summary when FM pisses me off. I got to the point earlier in this season where I couldn't win for my life and my new signings were poor. Then I won and we're kinda fine again.

Also, if you guys ever get the chance to sign Michael Bostwick. Please do. He's a brilliant BWM, DM or CB.

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February continued

February continued with a fine away win at lowly Birmingham, the 3-1 scoreline didn't do us justice and we could of really won 5 or 6 nill. We followed this up with a very comfortable 3-0 win at home to Sheffield Wednesday in front the Sky camera's.

March

The hectic month of March, this is the month I had been aiming towards, winnable games and lots of them, 3 in the first 10 days in fact! My god we started well, first we saw off Barnsley in a scrappy 2-1 win, although we did rest a lot of players and had a fair few injuries. Next up went Doncaster and Charlton, both away from home in quick succession. We had now moved into second place in the table, level with Wigan, Reading and Derby. Next up was play off hopefully Blackburn at home. Unfortunately they managed to defeat us 2-1, hammering a massive dent into our automatic promotion bid.

Next month we have to play a large amount of teams up and around the play off places so I knew we had to bounce back big time and get the points on the board now. Blackpool and Middlesborough were both seen off to end the month well, leaving us still Second, Derby have now fallen away after 3 defeats in a row.

April (part 1)

First game against the fellow play off hopefulls saw us travel to Reading. A massive game and more a must not lose than a must win. A 1-1 draw was massive, James Vaughan scoring his first in 8 games. Next up was 5th placed Bolton and a chance for us to confirm our play off place. For the second time this season we beat them 3-0, Huddersfield Town will be in the play offs, but I have my eyes on more than that. A 2-1 (my teams favourite score it seems) against Ipswich leaves us second in the league with 5 games to go.

The remaining fixtures are

A Derby (5th)

H Brighton (7th)

A Yeovil (23rd)

H Leicester (top of the league)#

A Watford (17th)

A tricky run in against teams who are all fighting for every point. We are currently 5 points behind Leicester and level with Wigan, both on 82 points.

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Massive couple of results, first of all we won 2-0 at Derby, Clayton's at the double, Max and Adam both scoring. Wigan lost to Birmingham and Reading lost, before they drew with each other. GOt Brighton next, if we win we are 4 points clear with 3 to go!

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Just finished my first season at Hartlepool. Finished comfortably at the top of League 2. We had a really impressive run in the Capital One Cup, pushing Liverpool to extra time (1-1 at FT, we took the lead, only for them to get a controversial penalty...).

This year, the board's told me that they want me to achieve at least a play-off finish, without talismanic target man, Steve Howard, who scored 20 goals for me last year. We still have Luke James, who had an amazing season; 32 goals and 18 assists overall!

I've added to the existing core (Flinders, Baldwin, Nolan, Bermingham, Parrett, Franks and James) with some impressive talent;

Fraser Mullin - Right Back - Hibs (Free Transfer)

Mullin is a sturdy, solid defensive full back. With his speed and outstanding crossing ability, he should create plenty of chances for Luke James. Eddie Nolan will be moved to left-back (where we struggled to find a first choice) to accommodate.

Tom Taiwo - Midfielder - Free Transfer

Former Chelsea prospect Taiwo is a significant improvement on my current midfielders. Providing a defensive prescence and a strong box-to-box threat. He'll partner with Parrett and Jack Baldwin. Giving me a more balanced midfield.

Zat Knight, Leonardo Rinaudo and Paddy McCarthy have all arrived on frees to rebuild my ailing defence (Burgess have returned to Middlesbrough, and Sam Collins is rapidly declining)

My other key signing is veteran striker, Kevin Phillips. Losing Steve Howard, James Poole and Andy Monkhouse has left me with Luke James as my only recognised striker. Phillips should provide the relevant know-how to score some goals in this division, allowing me to rest and rotate as required.

I'm eyeing Isaah Osbourne and a reserve goalkeeper, then that should be it. Not sure if we're good enough to get into the Play-Offs (Cheers, Hodcroft...) but I'll give it my best go!

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burnley save update

players transfers in and outs

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/716/ks8r.png

staff transfers in and out

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/199/gfzf.png

top of the table after 7 games won 6 and lose 1

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/849/qtr7.png

here are the results of the games so far

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/36/9by0.png

lets see how the rest of the season pans out

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How long does it take for you lot to go through a season? Seems to be REALLY slow for me.

Anyways, last 3 games for me (two of which I've already mentioned in a previous post) seem to have started a new tactical ideology for me - a much smarter, more controlling approach. I have my wingers set to mark the opponents' wingers. I (usually) have 3 in midfield and in the main, I let the opposition defenders have the ball. Having watched my own defenders, for the first few games when attempting a much more possession based approach, consistently giving the ball away I realised I could use this knowledge to take advantage of the opposition. My tactic isn't really entirely counter attacking (we aren't really sitting back that much) but we are preying on the mistakes of the opposition (letting their defenders have the ball, cutting off their passes into midfield so they're more likely to give the ball away) and then creating chances like that. Seems to be working reasonably well. We do need to get better at taking our chances from open play but we are showing significant improvements defensively - we've gone from conceding 8 in the first 4 games to 3 clean sheets in a row. If I use this season to completely overhaul the squad and getting the younger players into a decent position to be challenging for first team spots, I think we'll be in for a much more rewarding future.

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Not long into my debut PL season, finding it tough so far. Started off scoring just 2 goals in the opening 7 games, 1 a penalty, another a corner :( Picking up a little now and just gone 5 points clear of the relegation zone.

After getting destroyed 5-1 in the previous game @ Chelsea, i decided to rest most of my players Vs Man City and just hope the lose doesn't ruin my GD too much more.

2ymdao1.jpg

:lol: Bit of an upset.

Absolutely brilliant performance, somewhat of a snatch and grab :p But they never really looked liked scoring, pretty much every shot was a long range effort or headers off a set piece. I even managed the better oppurtunites and should have probably streched the lead if anything.

Passing and Possession stats were ridiculous, they had 71% possession and my team completed a total of 212 passes between them. In comparison Goretzka for City had 174 on his own!!

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End of 2012/2013

The season ended in dramatic and emphatic style. With us needing just 5 points from our last 3 games to confirm our automatic promotion, we managed to draw twice, leaving Wigan with a shout of snatching glory from us on the last day of the season.

Our final game of the season was away from home to mid table Watford, whilst they would play Blackburn who were sitting 9th at the time. Basically a draw put us up as our goal difference was 8 better than there's, defeat and a Wigan win and they would go up by 1 points.

The afternoon couldn't of started much worse really, first of all Wigan took the lead inside the first 3 minutes at Ewood Park, before doubling the lead in the 6th minute. From here, there result seemed all over with already. At Watford, disaster struck, two goals from two free kicks left us trailing at half time and down to 3rd in the table. I gave the players one hell of a telling off at half time, changed a few things and sent them back out. Max Clayton was replaced by James Vaughan and we went a lot more direct with our passing. In an amazing 20 minutes, Vaughan scored twice and Upson scored once to fire us 3-2 up and back in control of our own destiny. Over at Blackburn, Wigan are now 4-1 up and Blackburn are down to 9 men, game over, we must at least draw. In the 88th minute Watford snatched an equalizer, pressure on.....but we hung on!!! Huddersfield Town are now a Premier League side, after an amazing 3-3 draw saw us promoted on goal difference, Wigan will be in the play offs.

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Looking to begin a longish save, until my pc craps out on me, with a team in the football league.

A decent starting block and something to push on with but also a challenge toe when I am promoted.

Any suggestions? Great thread btw!

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Looking to begin a longish save, until my pc craps out on me, with a team in the football league.

A decent starting block and something to push on with but also a challenge toe when I am promoted.

Any suggestions? Great thread btw!

Which division are you looking at? League one I would say perhaps brentford, Peterborough or a lot of people have enjoyed Coventry. Championship why not try derby, Forrest or Leeds. All big teams, all can be promoted so there is short term enjoyment and can all be good to build when promoted to a higher division.

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HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Wolves save seasons 1

Mid January transfer window first season, as noted before sold Edwards for 1m, brought in Gosling and then from arsenal E Fingpong (sp) for 500k (made up of 100k upfront / 150k 48 months / 250k after 10 international appearances) and a friendly, and also Jacob Mellis from Barnsley 500k 48 months who had 6 months left on his contract. Seems all good right, board then tell me the following.

Very please with management, happy with league position, wages blah blah blahhhhhhh we're going to inject £10.3 MILLION INTO THE TRANSFER BUDGET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now some of you may not se this as a problem, but I've got 10 Million burning a whole in my pocket - like a child in a toy store with his birthday money! the next 2 weeks of the transfer window are going to be fun!

In my Wolves game I tried to keep movements down, selling players who were earning too much and using some of the young prospects like Doherty and Cassidy. Definitely get rid of Johnson as he's on £30k a week and there are better players around by far.

Having managed the budget in that first season and got promoted I then got the benefit when they gave me a £26M transfer budget for the Championship!!!. Sadly I'm not very good at blowing lots of money, too frugal. I have made a few signings but I think I've brought in about as much as I've spent over the summer so still a big budget to blow if needed.

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