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Anyone else have one of these? A player you've taken an inexplicable shine to, and just can't bring yourself to release? Maybe he's a past-it veteran who's shared your odyssey and dragged you out of innumerable scrapes, but stubbornly refuses to retire. Maybe he's an injury-prone striker who just needs a run of fitness, a run you know in your heart of hearts he's never going to get. Maybe he's the guy whose last-minute winner sealed your first promotion, but has been palpably out of his depth during your subsequent surge up the divisions. Maybe you just like his hair.

In my long-running real-time game, it's Tony Draper. At 21, Tony has been on my books for five (actual!) years. In that time, he's made twelve first-team appearances, all in minor cup competitions. Like drunken girlfriends on a night out, my staff have been screaming at me that he's not good enough for years. For ages, I begged to differ. After all, Tony has a bit going for him. He's quick, a strong dribbler, and one of the best crossers of a ball in the country.

If only it were that simple. Sadly, his lack of a single functioning footballing brain-cell and his puny physique render him utterly ineffectual as a top-flight winger. But even if he were capable of toeing the line at this level, I have no use for an out-and-out, head-down-and-hope winger. Never have had, never will have. Tony actually started my first game of this season, as I was experimenting with a wider formation and he was my only option on the left. The next day, I threw stupid money at a cross-city rival for a young left winger. I really hoped Tony wasn't too hurt.

And I still live in hope that one day, in the middle of a fixture pile-up, an injury crisis and an outbreak of bubonic plague, Tony will make the bench, get thrown on for the last ten minutes, stretch a tiring defence with a lung-bursting run down the left, and deliver a pinpoint cross for the cup-winning goal.

So, who's the Tony in your life?

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For this, I'll have to take you back (or forward more accurately) to 2066, in the Stade de Lumieres (Lyon's new stadium) for the Europa League final. After a long, long journey my Lincoln Gibraltar side had finally made it to a major tournament final against all odds. We've had a bit of a nightmare getting there, but we face Roma, and are fully expected to get absolutely battered. Even more so because our star striker Henrique Ferreira is missing, having been out for a month through injury.

But on the morning of the match, he returns to full training. Which gives me a dilemma - do I resist temptation and trust my other players? Do I start him and hope he grabs a goal before he loses a leg? Or do I keep him on the bench and throw him on late, hoping he wins it...without losing a leg? In the end, I went for option number 3.

76 minutes gone, the scores locked at 0-0. A very tight game, but it's about to get interesting - on comes Henrique...

Unfortunately, it finishes 0-0, with Henrique looking leggy and altogether awful. As he trudges off before extra-time, I'm ready with the horse placenta and oxygen tent, but he waves it away. We move through the first half of extra-time...still 0-0. At the changeover, I offer him some red bull. He turns it down again.

107 minutes gone, and the worst happens. Ferreira is robbed of the ball on the half-way line, and the pressure is on. After a couple of failed clearances, they score, and with just thirteen minutes left, I resign myself to our dream being dead.

In the 117th minute, with Ferreira just hobbling around. The ball bogs down in midfield, but breaks back towards the Roma goal. Ferreira chases, and the crowd holds its breath. He moves into the box and...PENALTY! I honestly think a fitter player would have beaten the man and got a cross in, but old banged-up Henrique stayed firm and threw himself to the ground.

And wouldn't you know it, up stopped the wannabe-hero to take the penalty.





I would say the story ends there, but it doesn't. Roma almost nicked it in the last minutes of extra-time, but it did go to penalties, where we triumphed 4-3, with Henrique scoring his penalty (of course).

The next season he scored an extra-time winner in the Rock Cup final in what would end up being his last game for the club. He just couldn't cut it anymore as we chased strikers that were younger, quicker, and good enough to make the ultimate assault on the Champions League. His exploits kept him in my all-time best eleven though to the day I retired, with 279 goals from 307 games. But it is that penalty he'll be remembered for. Goodnight sweet prince.

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Nice story, man!

I 've got plenty of Tonies unfortunately. I started at Skrill South and, as I am moving up the divisions, my once dominating players become obsolete one by one.

Louie, my lightning fast striker, has been ripping everyone apart for years. He was often the top scorer of the division and even became the top scorer of the club ever. Now, at Sky Bet 1 (that's 3 promotions up), I barely have him on the bench. The fans and his colleagues all love him, but me and my coaches know that we have to let him go at the end of the season when his contract ends.

Jack is my captain and still my first-team goalkeeper now at SB1, as my backup youngster did not develop as expected. Jack is "favorite personnel" for all other players. I still remember the news item how Jack led the team to promotion after my successful finish at SB2. But he is not good at this level anymore and I will let him go at the end of the season too.

I found Louie and Jack in the squad when I took over the club. We lifted the Skrill South title together, we lifted the FA Trophy. We won 3 promotions together. They made sure we pulled through on numerous tough occasions. At 26 and 25, respectively, they are the living history of the club. I was hoping that someone may bid for them so that they leave happy, but nobody ever did. Their Ability is too low. It is going to be a devastating moment when June 30 arrives.

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I've got one in my San Marino save.

His name is Di Santo and he was the best player promoted from our academy back in 2015. Because we were at such a poor level he was brilliant immediately and went straight into the team making 3 league appearances that 1st part-season. He's mid-way through his 19th season with the club, (at 34 years old), and still makes Serie A appearances every season. He was good enough to play for (ITA) U23's and U20's but never featured for Italy at U21 or NT level, (although he was called into the U21 squad on a number of occasions.

He has scored 45 goals in a total of 490 appearances for San Marino, (372 League appearances), and has "no immediate plans for the future" in Jan 2033, (so seemingly has no plans to retire right now.

He only made 9 appearances in 2029/39, 6 in 30/31, and 12 in 31/32, but has already made 9 in 32/33 and we still have potentially 19+4+7 30 games left for him to feature in. He's not looked good enough for about a decade if I'm honest, but his performances always seemed to be better than his attributes suggested and the team performance was also much much MUCH better with him in the team.

He has been the Club captain from about the age of 21(ish) and as he is a Model Pro this obviously impacts favourably on the other members of the team when he plays.

He has won the following.

2017 Serie C1/B.

2021 Italian Super Cup.

2024 Italian Cup.

2024 Italian Super Cup.

2029 Italian Cup.

2031 Italian Super Cup.

2031 Club World Championship.

I can't believe that he hasn't won a Serie A title. We've won the last 3 titles but he obviously isn't making enough appearances, (he's only made 4, 5 and 8 Serie A appearances in recent seasons). If he has to make 15 to get a winners medal then I'm afraid he is never going to win one. I just can't play him in that mane games.

He's also missed out on a Champions League win, but that's fair enough I suppose He doesn't get near our best 18 and hasn't done for years.

We now have 10 Model Pro's at the club, (and 3 more who were Model Pro's and who are now Leaders), and this is largely down to him. He has been the tutor that started the whole thing off. 5 of the Model Pro's can play centre-half and have been directly tutored to that position by him.

You can see that he really isn't that good and it's only emotion that keeps me playing him, (even if his role as a tutor keeps him at the club as a valuable asset).


I'm just gutted that he wasn't Sammarinese rather than Italian. Is that being greedy?

DiSanto2015History1Jan2033_zps71ddcd5c.png"]History 1.[/url]

History 2.

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To me is the one and only Erik Sorensson, he was bought for 500k from Helsinborg, in my borussia dortmund save. And from an early age I tried giving him all my confidence, knowing he could become a top top player.

After missing every year on the CL final, the day came and my number one striker Ezequiel Rescaldani was just not cutting it. So I threw a by then very young 19 y/o Sorenson on the pitch, with 30 minutes to go. Using his by then 19 pace and 18 acceleration and his glorious Likes to Lob keeper ppm, he got free after a hummels long ball beating the last defender, to chip it over the GK in the 85th minute.

Altough we have not been able to win the CL ever again, Sorenson will always have a place in my heart, for his heroics that day.


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Gustavo Henrique. Signed from Santos to Manchester City for 27 million at the ripe old age of 19. When I brought him in, I did so because I had 150 million left over, and he was the only 5 star potential player I could find. So I signed him up, but because of my influx of Attacking Midfielders I decided I would let him wreck apart the U21's until he was first team quality.


So, my dominant easy mode Manchester City side has already collected every title possible except the Capital One Cup, and we find ourselves in the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich at Camp Nou. There team is studded with guns like Neuer, Lahm, Alaba, Schweinsteiger, Kovacic, and the media is predicting that Bayern will have a field day. I decide that today, Gustavo Henrique will get a spot on the bench instead of first team regular James Rodriguez. Gustavo hasn't played a senior match for the club, and he is lacking match fitness.

Aguero slots a goal in the 12th minute, and Quintero slots one in the 46th. I'm 2-0 up at half time, but this has happened before. my side is known for throwing away leads. I tell the lads not to get complacent and they keep focused, but I'm still worried. Minutes later Lorenzo Insigne has chipped my clueless keeper Courtois, who refuses to pick up the ball. I am very worried at this stage, so I hit the substitution button straight away. KEEP THE LEAD. Carvajal comes off for my regen right back Ramazan Kara, and my CAPTAIN Jack Wilshere, comes off with a 6.3 rating from Attacking Mid, leaving space for Gustavo Henrique to take the field in the 60th minute.

Then, only two minutes later.





The master manager strikes, and Gustavo Henrique buries the Champions League Final mere minutes after being subbed on for his Manchester City debut!

Bayern went from dominating us to never having another shot after this goal. I know that if Gustavo didn't bury this goal we would have at least had to go to extra time.

Gustavo Henrique will be my pet for the next 15-20 years, through his prime and through his deterioration.

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In my main save save i have 5:

Alberto Cerri - Probably one of the best target men.

Gianni D'Ignazio - 17 year old striker, never going to be the best in the world but is good enough for rotation at 17 and being 2nd best striker at the club

Marco Borriello - Consitantly scored goals but has retired now

Lucas Romero - at 23 he is probably argentinias best CM now.7

Youri Tielemens - Is capable of playing STC, AMC and MC and DMC although marking tackling and finishing are not that great.

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My current spurs save i have 2. one regen and one real player who whenever i decide i have to let him go he turns out a superb performance, Lets start with the regen..

His name is marinho. I bought this little gem from my feeder club Corinthians and immediately fell in love with him, at 16 he was starting as my left winger. I just saw something in him, he has good all round stats but his pace, agility balance and dribbling drew me in. He has been ever present for me and is now worth a little sum of £31m consieirng i bought him for £300k thats not bad lol. His nack for scoring goals only when needed and sometimes extravagant. I recall a win against Bayern where Neuer fluffed his kicked only for Marinho to smash in a 40 yard volley on his weaker left foot into the corner. It didnt win us the game as that was already won but it endeared him to the fans. And for that i will never sell him. He always comes up when the time is needed. Crosses and beautiful dribbles the full length of the pitch and picks the right ball everytime. I cant remember a bad goal he has scored theyve all been screamers or beautiful dribblers. He will one day captain my side.

As for my real life player that goes to.... Aaron Lennon, i just cat seem to sell him, gave him his testimonial against corinthians (where i spotted marinho) and i was all set to sell him when i had an injury crisis. Im guessing all my right wingers were in the same car because they all got injured for a month at least... Up steps an unfit Lennon and he tears it up. So much so Sterling couldnt get back into the team. It also ends in him Winning me the Champions league with a goal in the right place at the right time and setting up Werner for the winner. Ever since then i cannot sell him and he has gotten a new contract, i play him in my carling cup games and weaker prem teams and he does the job.

When he goes i will hire him in some capacity, even consider moving him in with me. I love you Aaron Lennon and the whole of Tottenham does too!!!

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Awesome thread. My current game is a Chelsea save in year 2. I have two favorites right now. John Terry and Ryan Bertrand. My coaches keep insisting that Terry is not fit to be listed as an "important first team player anymore," but he was my rock in season one on the way to a double. He'll keep his status until he retires. Bertrand stepped in when Cole was injured and tore it up. He kept the starting job and was consistent on the way to the aforementioned double. Cole was not resigned and Bertrand is my starter in season 2.

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Yes I've had a couple in this save but sadly they won't last.

Elliot Sandy - He was with me in the Skrill South at the start of the game and scored loads of goals. He left on a free as he wouldn't sign a new deal and I had someone to replace him lined up. Years went by and I was searching for a new coach. That's where I saw him again, nostalgia kicked in (I didn't really look at his stats haha) and now he is a coach for me in the PL. After euphoria died down I did look at his stats and he's actually pretty good!

Alex Wynter - You know when you go up the leagues and you struggle to attract players when making that jump up to the next league higher? Alex was a player who joined me. I (relatively) broke the bank with his wages when compared to other players, but he was superb for me. I signed him in League 2 and he stayed until the second season in PL. He's left now, a full Jamaica international, but I'll keep an eye on him.

Alban Bailly - A French regen I picked up in the Championship which suited me as it looked like I was staying in that league for a bit. Think Yohan Cabaye but cheaper. Awesome player. Still have him even though I have better players and will try not to let him go but may have to as the wages he wants for being a squad player are too high for my liking :-(

Vedran Strkic - A Croatian regen. A wonderkid I picked up for peanuts. He's my star pupil.

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For me, I’ve had two in previous games. From the CM days up to FM2005, I had a thing for Juho Makela (once of Hearts in RL). I signed him for Forest on CM4 and despite not being a world beater, he had pace and his finishing was quite high. I got him to the Finland national team and he single-handedly got us promotion to the Premiership. As we challenged the European spots, he perhaps was only in the team due to his exploits in the Championship and I did receive bids for him, bids I probably should have accepted. But he was a club icon and my love for him grew every time he proved the doubters wrong and scored against United or Arsenal. This repeated every year until FM2006 where he was actually no good and not even I could help him with that!

Second was on FM2008. I had been sacked as Forest manager, relegated twice from the Premiership in three years. I found my new job at Huddersfield in League One. I took over a team who lacked confidence and leaked too many goals in the season before. I got some deadwood out of the club but was quite unfortunate not to sign as many players as I’d hoped. I looked in the youth team and there he was, Luke Farrell, recently turned 16. Season started and with a bit of luck (or unluck depending whose view you’re taking), one of our centre backs got injured. I had a decent back up in waiting but I thought, what’s the worst that could happen?

A commanding performance and a goal on his debut, just weeks after turning 16, it was clear that this was going to turn into a something dreamy. 4 seasons later, at the young age of 20, Luke had lifted the Championship as club captain after being given the arm-band shortly after our League One promotion. Euro 2016 was round the corner and he earned himself a call up to the squad. He hadn’t played in the Premiership yet, but he had only missed 1 game since that debut, an absolute rock. After two seasons in the Premiership, the bids came flowing in, pressure to sell increasing. I could sell him and secure Huddersfield’s financial future. I rejected bids.. No! One more season! We reached the dizzy heights of second, coming runners-up to Arsenal but Luke oversaw what came next, as he scored the headed winner in the 78th minute in the FA Cup final. A £35million bid from winners Arsenal was accepted by the board and Luke was on his way.. And so was I, hello FM2009!

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Not a regen but in my first season at Cardiff i bought Adam LeFondre (should get a job in predictions the bookies would hate me) as i needed a poacher to compliment my tactics of a poacher and target man with two quick wingers behind them and he scored 30 goals (4 hat-tricks) that season and took us to the premier league then in the premier league season he'd scored 18 goals by January with andy carroll next to him then disaster struck in a game against Swansea (bitter that they were losing 3-0) he broke his leg and was out for six months. but i was in luck it was January and i decided to buy Charlie Austin who was also having an incredible season so it was a justified signing but when Adam came back from the injury he was not the same player and had no pace to pass a player. But that season i'd scrapped into the FA cup final and was cruising thanks to an andy carroll goal but then arsenal got one back and then took the lead and in the 75th minute i decided to throw Adam on as a final try to win and he came through for me scoring in the 95th minute (jumped off my seat and ran around my house at that). Nothing happened for either side in extra time so it was Penalties and Adam LeFondre scored the winner to raise the FA Cup for us. after the game i decide to check if his stats had come back by some miracle and realised that i was listed under his favourite personnel that was a nice touch that i found and decided that he would be staying at Cardiff for as long as i was there and he did. 8 years later of last gasp goals he decided to pack it in as a Cardiff and England legend (won them the euro championships when no other strikers were available). he's still one of my favourite players irl and love his finishing skills so was overjoyed when Cardiff signed him and am sure he'll score hatfulls of goals for them but in FM he's gone but i wouuld love to see him stay on in some sort of coaching role..

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I've got a couple in my current save.

Goran Vidic - A Serbian AM regen who I got for £350k. I needed more options for the #10 role, and picked up this guy on the cheap when I was also manager of the Serbian national team. His stats weren't incredible, but seemed to have some in the right place. Played him in a couple of games and he did really well. Ended the season with 5 goals in 12 games. He went on to score 12 the following season, and is already into double figures for goals and assists (10 of each) just 15 games into this season.. He's great and I hope I keep him until he retires - but I'm in the Championship and he wants to move up the leagues. I have him tied down for another 3 seasons though so hopefully I'll go up and he'll stick around.

Serigne Ba - A young striker regen from Congo. I picked him up from Gillingham aged 19 in order to compete with a 35 year old RVP and 33 year old Giroud for the striker spot. With a name like Ba, I figured he had to be a decent striker and I was incorrect to start with as he couldn't score a blummin' thing in his first season. Only played him sparingly, but he had 0 goals in 10 games at the end of the season. I was attached to him though - he is my project. I've had RVP tutoring him since, and now in his third season he has 10 goals in 10 games and is my first choice striker (RVP is still awesome at 37 for what that's worth). I've just tied him down for 3 more years, with the option of another two on top of that.

I'll give some special mentions to the old guys in my team. Not pet players as such, but players who have been vital to my squad and I've grown attached to;

Robin van Persie - 37 years old now, my second choice striker but he still scores pretty much every time he's on the pitch.

Phil Jagielka - 38 years old, and an absolute rock. Much better than I expected when I signed him, and after only a couple of games I realised what a signing he was. Is currently playing every game because my main centre back is injured, and he has just hit his 15 games to extend his contract by a further year.

Francesco Lodi - Defensive mid who, at 36, no longer gets a look in.. Had two solid seasons with me, coming in and suring things up when we were clinging onto a lead. I'm hoping he retires soon so I can have him tutor my U18s.

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Freddy Adu I don't know why I just have that dream of him lighting the world on fire finally :( I can dream it used to be Taylor Twellman but as he's retired he's now my assistant all the time.

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