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So it's been a while since I did an update on my Orient save. I've done loads since last time so will post a season per post so it's not too much to read. I can't remember all the transfers I made off the top of my head but will check later. I'll do my update on the end of my second season in charge and when I've got the list of transfers I'll do the rest of my updates.

First up, the end of my 2016/17 season in League 1 where I was pushing for another promotion...

Conclusion of 2016/17 season - League 1

As those of you who can remember my last update will know, I was flying along with Peterborough in the top 2. I was being followed by fellow League 1 newbies Hartlepool but easily pulled away after the Christmas period to give myself a 9 point cushion in 2nd. However, February came and I started. A horrible run of form where I only managed 1 win out of 7. I then played Hartlepool in the 45th league game of the season with them sitting 2 points behind me. I took an early lead but they came back into it and beat me 4-1 meaning they leapfrogged me into 2nd. Massively irritating considering the hard work all season.

The Last Day

I've never really been involved in a last day scrap for position so I was quite excited. I had Colchester at home whilst Hartlepool had Sheffield United away so I felt like I had a chance. Sheffield United had struggled for form all season but their home form was decent.

By half time I was 3-0 up and went on to win 4-1 so I did my bit no problem. My worry was the Hartlepool game. I had a split screen going so I could follow their score. 10 minutes in and they took the lead through their Italian striker Ripa. The score line stayed the same until the hour mark when Ripa grabbed his second. At this point I had resigned myself to the playoffs. Then in the 82nd minute, a lifeline. Billy Sharp pulled a goal back and suddenly I had some hope. My game finished and I hadn't noticed any update so I clicked continue with frustration. The league table popped up and it had me sitting in 2nd. I checked the scores and Sheffield United had equalised in the 95th minute through Libor Kozak (bizarre I know!) meaning that I had dramatically won promotion on the final day!

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Just kicked off my New save with the winter update after a long Walsall save. Went for Swindon town this time as i always seem to struggle against them :(

Anyway after a quick look at my available squad i noticed close to no players capable of playing on the wings which is a must for any club i have managed in the past. I had decided that it would take too much of an overhaul to address this in full in the first window an with 4 long term loan players on the books it was close to impossible on a 150k Transfer budget. So the decision was made to go with a narrow diamond to get the best out of the clubs best players.

However a few weeks into pre-season i have received a massive offer of 2.3 Million rising to 3.1 for my midfield star Yaser Kasim. Now with 75% transfer revenue retained this would be more than enough to get in the much needed quality in the wide areas. Kasim only has 1 year to run on his current deal and at present i currently don't have the demands to meet his demands for a new contract. Have no idea what way to go on this atm currently scouting to see what replacements and squad upgrades are available should i decide to cash in. Thoughts?

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Aarrgghh. I just posted a long ramble, hit submit just as the internet dropped - and now it's lost.

Well done on your successes BJG and OTID anyway.

I've decided to park up my Coventry save, and I now plan to make AFC Wimbledon my first game on the 16.3 version. Somebody said earlier that the editor shows them moving back to Plough Lane in 2018, although I don't see a planned stadium move on the club information page. Anyway, that's one of the reasons for taking them on, so hopefully it usually happens like that.

Why The Dons? I've never managed them before, but really wanted a team with a strong identity and philosophy. The trouble is that they offer two very strong philosophy options, and I've been having trouble deciding which one to go with as I find them both appealing. On one hand I could try and emulate the old Crazy Gang approach, with a real rough and ready, crash bang wallop style that resembles their more glorious days. Alternatively, I could try to copy their modern day philosophies, which are clearly defined on their website and matched by their Development and Academy squads too. I'm quite happy to take a few years getting anything going, as I want to make use of their younger players even if it means results suffer.

In addition to this, I recently downloaded the EEE expanded database (my first ever non standard database), and I'm quite tempted to try a Level 8 or 9 club. I found a few Level 8 sides with strong personal connections, but unfortunately the squad lists are often limited that far down the pyramid. I did find a club in Level 9 though, who have a fully populated squad which, even though it looks poor to me, is probably quite good at that level. The challenge of taking a team up to the Football League through four or five promotions is quite daunting, but must be satisfying if you can achieve it.

Finally, as if all that wasn't enough, I really wanted to try and manage a club with Matty Taylor as my main striker. Unfortunately I'm not very keen on Bristol Rovers as I only like him and Harrison there, but I think only Portsmouth or Cambridge could afford him in League 2. I've managed Pompey before, so it really only leaves Cambridge for that purpose - unless I compromise and go with a League 1 side like Walsall instead (nothing too big, but they have some decent players). Has anybody ever noticed him being released when his contract ends in 2016? I'm guessing that's unlikely, but if it's a possibility, I might even take a punt and try to get him on a free for AFC Wimbledon at the end of the first season. That would be perfect...and would mean I can avoid starting another new save just for him!

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I've really wanted to try my luck with AFC Wimbledon as well.

I had a great save with them a few versions back, ending with a Premiership title some 15 years into the save.

They've always been "my second club" in England, and after they went out, I refused to support MK Dons. I think you should go for it, Jogo ;)

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After a couple of failed saves at different clubs, I decided to give Derby a go. I have always (for reasons unknown to me) liked Derby as a club, and one of the best types of saves to me is to promote into the PL and struggle for survival, managing huge amounts of money and building a succesfull squad.

I have a quite good 532 formation, that fitted Derby rather well due to weak wingers and a lot of strong CM's. I am retraining Tom Ince as a striker, which is perhaps the biggest change. I aim to play possesion football, and it seems to be going well. I have only played friendlies so far, but I have seen some encouraging stuff.

I have rotated a lot as they have a lot of strong players, and I am still undecided on my 3 CM's and my 2 strikers - although it looks like Martin and Ince will partner up.

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Leyton Orient - 2017/18 Season

Transfer Activity


Mathieu Baudry (Preston - £220k) - I felt the time was right to move my skipper on. Wasn't convinced he was up to Championship football and his contract was up at the end of the coming season.

Daniele Paponi (Wycombe - £100k) - Horrible injury hit season so took what I could get.

Sean Clohessy (free) - Definitely not up to the second tier.

Neil Danns (free) - getting on and attributes worsening.

Rhys Williams (free) - Not good enough for the second level and a little injury prone.

Liam Feeney (free) - did a decent job for me but there was better options out there.

Luke Conlan (free) - see above

Charlie Grainger (free) - didn't play a single game for me

Armand Gnanduillet (free) - see Feeney


Jerome Binnom-Williams (free) - delighted with this one. He'd been sensational for me in the first two seasons on loan so snapped him up after his contract expired.

Matt Smith (free) - tall aerial threat striker who fit my system. Fairly high wages considering I've just come up.

Matt Mills (£31k) - I needed a leader and a solid centre half. Bit of a risk because I know he's not always great on FM.

David Edgar (free) - good centre half. Decent on the ball and good in the air.

James Henry (loan) - experience at this level. Solid winger with good delivery.

Ryan Fredericks (loan) - pacy full back who can also play on the wing.

Joe Mattock (free) - another gamble because I've had him before and he's not been great

Andre Bikey-Amougou (free) - big centre half. Good in the air.

Ben Gladwin (loan) - needed cover for Cox so he fits the bill

Matty Fryatt (free) - risky considering his injury history but he did well on trial so I took a punt.

Luke Murphy (loan) - deep lying playmaker with a fearsome long shot.

Federico Agilardi (free) - backup Italian keeper

Liam Trotter (free) - strong box to box midfielder

Max Power (loan) - Wigan still stuck in League 1 and they transfer listed him so I took a punt. His contract expires at the end of the season so this can be a trial period.

All in all pretty pleased with the transfer activity. Prepared for a tough season.

Brief Summary of the Season

I made Matt Mills my captain and prepared myself for a long and tough season starting away to Burnley. 15 minutes in and I was 2-0 up. Edgar scoring against his former team and Simpson picking up where he left off. I also had Simpson score 5 goals in one away game against Preston. In March I was 2 points off the playoffs but unfortunately a blip at the wrong time left me in 11th at the end of the season. Very pleased considering my budget wasn't an awful lot higher than in League 1.

Key Players

Other than the likes of Cox and Simpson were brilliant again for me, a lot of my new signings impressed. Edgar was excellent, Power and Murphy dominated the midfield and Binnom Williams carried on his fine form. James Henry broke his leg in November so that was his season done. Fryatt was a bit of a disappointment and I ended up selling Mattock in January.

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@OTID: Nice season review, and not lost amongst our Danish invasion! Decent signings, and a solid finish. I look forward to reading your next update.

@Mr_Demus: Welcome and good luck with Derby.

@Gungner: I'll keep you updated as we Womble along.

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Living in Denmark, you may not have seen this?


As tempting as it was to go with the old bullying style, I'm beginning to favour the modern day philosophy - it suits the players they have much better. Updates to follow once I get going...

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Just kicked off my New save with the winter update after a long Walsall save. Went for Swindon town this time as i always seem to struggle against them :(

Anyway after a quick look at my available squad i noticed close to no players capable of playing on the wings which is a must for any club i have managed in the past. I had decided that it would take too much of an overhaul to address this in full in the first window an with 4 long term loan players on the books it was close to impossible on a 150k Transfer budget. So the decision was made to go with a narrow diamond to get the best out of the clubs best players.

However a few weeks into pre-season i have received a massive offer of 2.3 Million rising to 3.1 for my midfield star Yaser Kasim. Now with 75% transfer revenue retained this would be more than enough to get in the much needed quality in the wide areas. Kasim only has 1 year to run on his current deal and at present i currently don't have the demands to meet his demands for a new contract. Have no idea what way to go on this atm currently scouting to see what replacements and squad upgrades are available should i decide to cash in. Thoughts?

Sorry, I missed this post last night. Welcome to the thread and hopefully you enjoy your time with Swindon. That deal for Kasim is an absolutely brilliant offer, I wouldn't even think twice about accepting it. Good luck spending your money!

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@OTID: Nice season review, and not lost amongst our Danish invasion! Decent signings, and a solid finish. I look forward to reading your next update.

Thanks Jogo. I also look forward to your Wimbledon save. I have a huge soft spot for them because of what they went through to get back to the league. I did a save with them a couple of years ago and did pretty well but I struggled to push them on after a promotion and a couple of failed playoff attempts. Hopefully you do better!

I'll do a summary of my 18/19 season later. I would do it now but I can't remember who I signed that year so I'll have to fire up the laptop later and check. If my memory serves me correctly it was another busy summer of transfer activity!

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York City Update

Currently enjoying a really good save with York City. Still in the first season an we are in the mix coming to the business end of the season.


With 7 games to go we are currently 5th in the table with a game in hand. We have really over achieved this year with the aim really a mid table finish while building a young hard working squad that could grow an be competitive over the next number of years. However if we are to be playing our football in League 1 next season we will really have to do it the hard way. In our next 5 fixtures we take on the top 4 teams in the division. The only positive is that 4 of the games are at Bootham Crescent which should see bumper crowds as we take on the big boys in the division in a battle for league 1 football.


Cup wise we had early exits in both the JPT and Capital One Cup however we fared slightly better in the FA cup reaching the 3rd Round losing out to Bristol City who where flying high in the championship at the time.


We have had quite a few big performers this season but the stand out men have come from my front 3 of Carson, McEvoy and on loan teenage goal machine Bradley Fewster. McEvoy's contract is expiring in the the summer and no matter how many times i try he is refusing to sign! am hoping that if we go up he will put pen to paper...just maybe. Fewsters on contract with parent club Boro is also up in the summer so i will be pushing the boat out to bring my goal machine next year.

Bradley Fewster Stats:


Kenneth McEvoy Stats:


Going to finish out the season an will then have another update. We have some massive games coming up and hopefully we can continue to perform at the level we have all season in these high pressure matches.

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Good luck with that, it's such a shame what has gone on at Blackpool. If you want an even harder trip back, holiday for a year or pick up on another football league save if you ran one for a single season and you'll probably find them in League 2 with new owners and only a handful of players left.

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Good luck with that, it's such a shame what has gone on at Blackpool. If you want an even harder trip back, holiday for a year or pick up on another football league save if you ran one for a single season and you'll probably find them in League 2 with new owners and only a handful of players left.

I think this will be hard enough. 5k transfer budget and not really a good squad. I'm going to set myself my aims I had at Bristol Rovers. A good youth development aim and try to take us into CL. It may take about 10 years lol.

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Swindon Town Update

Following on from my first post i have had a very busy first couple of months at the County Ground. After the sale of my star man to Premier League Norwich we are backed with a healthy transfer kitty for this level to put my own stamp on the the squad.

Here is the players who departed the club. With the only big news coming with Kasim leaving for Norwich for 2.3 Million potentially rising too 3.1 Million.


This left us with quite a transfer kitty to add much needed quality to the squad. We managed to strengthen all the areas needed and just hope that the players can settle into the Swindon way pretty soon.


Results wise we have started with a very much mixed bag of performances. Am hoping that our new look squad can gel quickly and we can get some consistency in our performances.


This run of results see use just hovering outside the relegation zone with 5 games played. The boards expectation this year is only to avoid relegation which should easily achievable if my new signings click. We also exit the Capital One Cup at the hands of Premier League Stoke. We haven't exactly started on fire but i am more than confident once we get a settled side and familiar with the newly implemented system our results will pick up.


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AFC Wimbledon

History & Introduction



With the shock news that manager and former Dons player Neal Ardley has decided to take a break from football in order to pursue a longstanding desire to go wombling on Wimbledon Common, AFC Wimbledon have appointed Bertie Womble-Bassett as their new manager ahead of the 2015/2016 League 2 campaign.

Womble-Bassett, a 46 year-old Londoner, is the cousin of legendary ex-Dons boss Dave 'Harry' Bassett and former England manager Mike Bassett. Rumours of any family ties to club mascot Haydon have, however, been strongly denied by all parties.

Speaking at the press conference that announced his arrival, Womble-Bassett enthusiastically told reporters that he was relishing the challenge, and insisted he had all sorts of skills that could get this reborn club fighting their way back up the league ladder. The long-term aim, he stated, was to bring the club success by following a clearly defined strategy, concentrating on youth development and a no-fear culture. Opportunities would be given to Academy graduates and prospects, and the principles of the club would be applied consistently throughout all squads. Ultimately, the plan was to see the club move back to their old Plough Lane base by the start of the 2018 season, with the application to begin work on their new all-seater stadium nearing the last stages of approval.

Board Expectations Philosophies and Tactical Approach




Womble-Bassett, who had been driven to the press conference straight from the airport after a short summer break visiting his uncle in Bulgaria, wasted no time in sharing his vision with the attentive local media and Dons Trust members invited to attend. The club, fully aware of their fan-owned status, value transparency with their supporters, and with the approval of the new manager, Chairman Erik Samuelson and director Dickie Guy (another legend from the club's past) shared their agreed expectations with those present.

Tasked with a top-half finish during his first year at the helm, the incoming manager joked that he had considered reinventing the aggressive, long-ball approach that served the Dons so well in the past. However, with a serious tone returning, he accepted that football was much less physical these days, and there was little doubt in his mind that the philosophies introduced by his much-admired predecessor Ardley were the right ones to continue with. This basically translated in to a blueprint that would be encouraged from the youth and Academy levels, through the Development squad and in to the first team.

The Chairman then handed out a single sheet of paper, with the front page explaining the following mission statement that had been prepared during Ardley's time in charge. Here is the transcript:

AFC Wimbledon Academy, like the first team, has risen to professional status over the past few seasons and now operates as a Category 3 Academy with teams from U7s - U21s. The overall vision of the Academy is:

• Produce players regularly for the first team

• Create an environment that will allow players to fulfil their potential

• Become the strongest and most productive Category 3 Academy

• Create a nationally recognised pathway from Foundation Phase to first-team that will attract young talent

• In five years' time, for 25% of all first team appearances to be made by home-grown players

The Academy's six Principles of Play define the style of football our teams play and provide the backdrop for our coaching programme throughout all age groups.

In possession

High tempo possession based football

Playing out from the back

Transition: counter attack

Out of possession

Making play predictable

Pressing from the front

Transition: 5 second regains

"I'll let Bertie explain in greater detail about how we will set up our teams" Samuelson added, passing the microphone to the new man in charge of the football side. And Womble-Bassett was clearly keen to continue talking: "Thanks Erik. We'll be planning to maintain traditional values, with a flexible, counter-attacking 442 being our core formation, and the one which will allow us to benefit most from our preferred style of play.

"We'll be asking our two forwards to close down the opposition defenders, and trying to stop teams playing out from the back, or at the very least making that uncomfortable for them. We'll aim to stop their goalkeeper from using short distribution to his defenders, and the rest of our team will also be expected to close down our opponents wherever possible. We have to work hard, but show discipline when tackling, and we'll drum it in to our players that we should stay on our feet when out of possession. Whilst it's important to force the other side in to making errors, we also have to feel confident when we have the ball. In possession, therefore, we'll be looking to play out of defence, retain possession in midfield, and put the other team on to the back foot with a high-tempo game plan."

On the reverse of this paper, there was a summary of how the reserve team (now known as the Under 21 or Development squad) would fit in to the club structure. Here's what it said:

Set up in July 2013, the AFC Wimbledon U-21 development squad aims to continue progressing players who have finished their academy scholarships by introducing them to a higher level of football. Under the tutelage of former Dons defender Alan Reeves, who recently worked as assistant manager at Brentford, the squad bridges the gap between the ages of 18 and 21, where levels of physicality and intensity notably increase. The coaching focuses on players who could make an impact at first-team level, exposing them to the rigours of senior football in a supportive environment, but also keeps developing those players who need more time to make that step up.

The development squad has a full programme of fixtures and will comprise a number of players over the course of the season, including full-time development squad members, selected Under-18 players and first-team players in need of game time. The environment gives these young professionals better exposure to senior football, both on and off the pitch, as players will get the opportunity to interact with more senior squad members and learn the traits they will need to one day represent the first-team.

After answering a few questions from the media men, the board quickly wrapped up proceedings and whisked Womble-Bassett out of the room. As the local hacks packed up, there was plenty of chat amongst them, with the general view being that this might be the beginning of the next chapter in AFC Wimbledon's revival...

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Nice start at Wimbledon, Jogo. Looking forward to hearing more :)

Somehow, I've suddenly gotten the urge to start as Bradford City (mostly do to their kits... just kidding). Don't know why, but wanted to hear if someone in here has any previous experience with them, particularly on patch 16.3, and could point me in any direction of who may be needed and who might not be needed and so on?

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Well my save with Blackpool is proving very challenging. My squad is too weak, I'm scraping games by the skin of my teeth. Already out of the CAP ONE cup with a 2-1 defeat to Norwich, however sitting in the playoffs after 5 games.

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Leyton Orient Season 2018/19

Transfer Activity


Matt Mills, £40k (Huddersfield) - Got an offer and thought that I can do better than him.

Matty Fryatt, Free (Wigan) - Ditto above

Matt Smith, £250k (Huddersfield) - just didn't get enough goals so I cashed in.

Andre Bikey-Amougou, Free (Plymouth) - offered him about because his disciplinary record wasn't great

Alessandro Vinci, Released - not really good enough for the Championship

Ahmed Said, £1m (Preston) - Got an offer on deadline day and he hadn't impressed me up till that point.


Max Power, Free (Wigan) - wasn't offered a contract at Wigan so I snapped him up after a great season.

Shaun Cummings, £220k (WBA) - upgrade on Vinci and fairly versatile.

Donervon Daniels, Free - rotational option at centre half.

Vasile Mogos, Free - Romanian winger who impressed in a trial period

Brandon Barker, Loan (Man City) - winger who can play either side.

Lewis Macleod, Free - released by Brentford but looked to fit perfectly into my DLP role.

Foday Nabay, Loan (Leicester) - central midfielder who can sit deep or get forward.

Jack Stephens, £425k (Southampton) - very pleased with this signing. Talented young centre back.

Simon Cox, Free - impressed on trial so took him on.

Cameron Dummigan, Loan (Burnley) - Young right back who will provide good competition at full back

Daniel Johnson, £275k (Norwich) - I've never been able to get the best out of him on previous saves but he looks good so I gave him a go.

Michael Folivi, Loan (Watford) - Had a very good loan spell at Southend last season.

Alim Ozturk, £425k (Aston Villa) - signed in January because apart from Stephens my centre backs were rubbish.

All in all, not happy with my activity but there wasn't much out there so I did the best I could do with what was available.

Brief Summary of the Season

A very disappointing campaign including a run from Christmas to the beginning of March where I only won three games meant that I flirted with relegation. 17 goals from Simon Cox aided my cause and fortunately I survived with 3 games to go. A final finish in 18th was a big negative after last season but at least I wasn't relegated. No cup run to speak of and very little else to write home about.

Key Players

Vasile Mogos was a revelation for the first few months but unfortunately broke his leg and missed the rest of the season. Cox top scored but was very inconsistent. Dean Cox was great again and Brandon Barker proved to be a useful addition. Max Power continued his good form and partnered Macleod very well in midfield. Folivi got 11 but other than that there wasn't many goals and defensively we were pretty poor.

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Thought while I had a bit of time that I would do the write up for the next season as well.

Leyton Orient Season 2019/20

At the beginning of this season I decided to try switching from a Target Man to a DLF(s) to try and encourage more short passing.

Transfer Activity


Alim Ozturk, £400k (Hearts) - a huge disappointment. Didn't manage to get a rating of higher than 6.4

Shaun Cummings, £250k (H'field) - a decent offer for a player that was just leaving his prime.

Jay Simpson, Released - it hurt me to do it but he just couldn't cut it at this level any more.

David Edgar, Released - ditto the above

Liam Trotter, Released - Plenty of better options out there at centre midfield.

Blair Turgott, Released - performances were tailing off so decided to cut ties.

Alex Cisak, Released - Ditto the above.

Donervon Daniels, £100k (Parma) - very odd team to offer but I bit their hand off.

Jack Stephens, £1.2m (Burnley) - gutted I lost him. Became my record sale.


Che Adams, £80k (Sheffield Utd) - contract was expiring so I planned on signing him on a free but someone put an offer in and forced my hand. Pleased with this one.

Alfie Mawson, £525k (Burnley) - rotting in Burnley's reserves so after they signed Stephens I got Mawson on a cut price deal.

Cameron Dummigan, Free - impressed while on loan so snapped him up.

Vincenzo Renella, Loan (Brescia) - fits the DLF role perfectly.

Gary Hooper, £250k (QPR) - another one rotting in the reserves. Natural goal scorer but his wages are high for me (£20k p/w)

Craig Bryson, Free - experienced versatile midfielder.

Marcel Correia, £110k (Braunschweig) - touted around by his agent and he looked good.

Jose Angel Crespo, Free - versatile defender. Getting on a bit but still can do a job.

Bailly Cargill, Loan (B'mouth) - cover for JBW

Luke McGee, Free - decent young keeper

Luis Fernandez, Free - Spanish striker. Bit of an unknown quantity.

Richard O'Donnell, Free (Derby) - bit of a gamble but I was really struggling to find a keeper. Looks decent enough.

Wayne Rooney, Free - picked up in October on very low wages. Not great any more but he's Wayne Rooney right?!

A little happier with my activity this season but still think it'll be a struggle.

Brief Summary of the Season

Almost a replica of last season except I managed to survive a little earlier and finished 15th. An excellent start and finish to the season kept me up. I ended up changing back to having a Target Man because the DLF wasn't working. As soon as I changed back, results started picking up again. Again, no cup run to speak of and another season to forget.

Key Players

Che Adams was sensational. He scored 16 goals from the right wing as well as grabbing 9 assists and an average rating of 7.59 across the season which was enough to win him Young Player of the Year. Hooper was also very useful and top scored with 19. Correia was a revelation and solidified my defence while Richard O'Donnell won me points on his own. Definitely things to build on for next year.

P.S. Rooney was absolutely rubbish and didn't score!

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Screw it, I've still got time. Hope nobody minds me clogging up this page! It'll be the last one until I finish my next season as I've only just finished this one.

Leyton Orient Season 2020/21

Transfer Activity


Daniel Johnson, £425k (H'field) - they always seem to sign my unwanted players! Just didn't cut it for me.

Luis Fernandez, Free (C'field) - rubbish. End of.

All the rest of my outs were young players on loan.


Ben Sheaf, £42k (Arsenal) - turned into a very good player. Looks like he'll fit my DLP role.

Fred Onyedinma, Loan (Hull) - versatile winger/striker with pace.

Gergely Bobal, Loan (Derby) - quick strong target man with a decent goal scoring record.

Milan Djuric, £350k (M'boro) - giant striker who will hopefully make me more of a threat from crosses.

Matty Foulds, Loan (Everton) - competition for JBW

Danny Barbir, Loan (WBA) - amazed they let him out on loan considering they're in the same league as me.

Stefano Marozzi, Free - young Italian striker with potential. Low wages so fairly low risk.

Boyd De Wit, Loan (Chelsea) - regen left back who I picked up in February.

Victor Morata, Loan (Palace) - regen striker who I also picked up in February.

I also integrated my exciting regen prospect Rob Scott who is a promising young winger into the team this year. He has four goals star potential with a black star in the fifth so he should be good. Not hugely quick (14) but a very good crosser and his mental attributes are excellent.

Brief Summary of the Season

An absolute thriller. Up until February time I managed to keep pace with the top 6. Had a tough run of games around that time including a 6th Round FA Cup game against Leicester which I lost. All my rearranged games fell in that period but I won almost all of them convincingly and lifted myself into the playoffs. With 5 games to go, even automatic promotion wasn't out of the question but I had some tough games coming up. One of those was away to West Brom who were battling against relegation. I battered them for the whole game but couldn't make the break through. Then I introduced Hooper and he bagged a 92nd minute winner. This spurred the team on and we went on to win consecutive games including the penultimate match away to Leeds 5-2 which was aided by a Rob Scott hat trick.

This meant that I went into the final day in third, 2 points behind Forest in the last automatic promotion place but with a worse goal difference by 3 goals. I had 22nd place Blackburn at home while Forest faced 15th place Sheff Wed at home. I didn't fancy my chances although Forest had lost their previous game to WBA 2-0.

I changed to split view and crossed my fingers. 16 minutes in and Lucas Joao put Wednesday ahead. This was quickly followed by Che Adams tapping in at the back post from a Rob Scott cross. All of a sudden I'm sitting in 2nd place. Half an hour into the game and Joao scores again for Wednesday. Half time and I encourage the boys to grab another. 5 minutes into the second half and Che Adams powers a header home to make it 2-0 and I started to dream. 65 minutes and Wednesday striker Sandro makes it 3-0. It's game over there and I've just got to hold on. 72 minutes and Blackburn score but fortunately it's disallowed for a marginal offside. 2 minutes later and they score again, this time it's counted. At this stage I'm pacing the floor. I tell the players to retain possession. 93rd minute and Blackburn are throwing one more attack forward. A cross in and a header from Charlie Austin brilliantly saved by O'Donnell who also saved the rebound effort as well. Cleared by Foulds and the final whistle blows. Promotion to the Premier League!!!

Key Players

Bobal top scored with 15, closely followed by Hooper on 14 who missed a lot of the season through injury. Marozzi grabbed 10 and Rob Scott chipped in with 5 as well as 12 assists in just 33 games. He won Young Player of the Year. Correia was immense again at centre back but I lost JBW to a broken ankle in early February which finished his season. I also won Manager of the Year.

Clearly a very pleasing season but a lot of work to do for next year. I've been given a transfer budget of £22.5m and now have £228k spare in my weekly wage budget.

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Nice updates OTID, and congratulations. If I'm reading that right flase9, you have one game with Swindon and one with York? Good luck to you. Sounds like a pretty good start to life at Blackpool in my opinion, SirM.

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Nice updates OTID, and congratulations. If I'm reading that right flase9, you have one game with Swindon and one with York? Good luck to you. Sounds like a pretty good start to life at Blackpool in my opinion, SirM.

I can't complain at the minute, sitting 2nd after 11 games 22 points. 7-1-3 record. Out of JPT and CAP cup which is kind of disappointing since I wanted a cup run for extra funds. I requested a new contract but it got delayed because I want a parent club aha.

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Nice updates OTID, and congratulations. If I'm reading that right flase9, you have one game with Swindon and one with York? Good luck to you. Sounds like a pretty good start to life at Blackpool in my opinion, SirM.

Thanks Jogo. I very much enjoyed your start to your Wimbledon save (particularly the bit where you visited your uncle in Bulgaria). Good luck with it... I think they're an excellent choice of team.

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Leyton Orient Season 2021/22 Opening

Summer Overview

My chairman is open to offers for the club at the moment and just before the transfer window opened, I was put under an embargo because of takeover talks. They only lasted a couple of days before he buyer pulled out but it meant I missed out on Dominic Solanke who has turned into a monster. Didn't play much for Chelsea but managed to get his value up to £12m and a potential England striker. Signed for Leicester for £4.8m so I was disappointed about that.

Transfer Activity


Milan Djuric, £100k (Dundee) - Took a loss on him but with the Prem TV money it's not going to effect me that much.

Richard O'Donnell, Released - Tricky call because he did well for me but I just didn't think he was cut out for the Prem.

Gary Hooper, Released - Wanted a hefty wage again despite being 33 and injured. Too much of a gamble.

Luke McGee, Released - Was only cover so no great loss.

Chris Marshall, Released - Regen central defender who could've been great but his work rate and determination were very low. Didn't impress enough to stay.

Lewis Macleod, Free (Rangers) - Gutted about this one. He wanted to leave to play at a higher level so I said we'd get promoted to the Prem this season (didn't expect it to happen!). However in January he signed a deal with Rangers for July so it didn't matter what I did.

Craig Bryson, Free (Motherwell) - declining rapidly so got rid.


Chris Willock, £4.5m (Charlton) - former Arsenal youngster who Charlton picked up on a free a few years back. Every time I played them he impressed me. Replacement for Dean Cox who I think will retire at the end of this season (although he's dreadful now and I won't really be playing him much)

Jordan Pickford, £700k (B'mouth) - England's third choice keeper, very much down the pecking order at Bournemouth. Interestingly they also had George Long who they sold to Watford for a similar fee and he has gone on to be England's second choice keeper.

Gino Peruzzi, £3.5m (Swansea) - been around the houses in the Prem. Signed for Arsenal in the first season, then joined United and then Swansea. Didn't pull up any trees anywhere he's been but I think I can get him playing well.

Tyler Roberts, Free - Pleased with this one. Had a good loan spell in the Championship last year. Spurs signed him for a couple of million a few years back but never played him. Still very young and a Wales international. His pace and finishing ability will be useful.

Winston Reid, Free - Needed that Prem experience in my back line and got him fairly cheaply.

Harry Arter, £180k (B'mouth) - one of my favourite players because he's a proper all round midfielder.

Lucas Joao, £5m (Sheff Wed) - always caused me problems when I played him. Also did me a favour by scoring two against Forest to help me go up. Just entering his prime so I'm hopeful.

Levent Gulen, £2.5m (Brighton) - solid centre half who was impressive against me last season.

Leandro Damiao, £1.1m (Real Betis) - another big striker who knows where the goal is.

Riccardo Zanon, Loan (Genoa) - regen keeper to cover Pickford

Sergio Reguilon, Loan (Genoa) - Spanish left back to compete with JBW

I have gone a fair bit over my wage budget but fortunately I'm projected to make a £65m profit so it shouldn't affect me in the FFP stuff. Didn't have a great pre-season but we'll see how it goes.

Opening month of the season

First game of the season was at home to fellow promoted team Derby on Monday night in front of the cameras. After an hour I was 3-0 up thanks to a brace from Roberts and one from Joao. In the last 5 minutes, Derby pulled two back but I held on for the three points. Second game away to City and unbelievably I went 1-0 up before half time through Joao. They then had Renato Sanches sent off just after half time but frustratingly a crazy own goal and then a late header from De Vrij meant I somehow came away with nothing. I then beat QPR at home 2-1 thanks to a Joao double before a Damiao brace got me past Middlesbrough in the League Cup. Last game before the international break was away to the other promoted team Norwich. I never got out of the blocks and lost 2-0.

That's as far as I've got. Next up is a tricky away game against Everton.

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AFC Wimbledon

Following his appointment, Bertie Womble-Bassett wanted to assess his squad before his first competitive match in charge of the club - a unique pre-season fixture against Premier League side Watford. The match, named the FM Cup, was created due to the 'Football Manager' sponsorship deals that each club has. The boss revealed it was a proud moment to be reminded of the club's links to his favourite football gaming series - and what better shirt could there be than one with 'Football Manager' or 'SI Games' written across it?

Ahead of the match Womble-Bassett had already made a smart move that went down well with the fans, bringing former Dons favourite Chris Perry back to the club as a coach of the U18 squad. He hopes that there will be a few more familiar faces returning to the staff during his tenure, but with numbers limited by the board, there was no more possibility to do so at this early stage. His willingness to work with respected figures from the club's past even extended to a rather ambitious job offer to his predecessor Neal Ardley, but unfortunately he rejected the chance to return in a different role.

After checking the staff at the club and the playing squad inherited, it was decided that little needed to be done on either front. Whilst he had reservations about some of his staff, he felt he would probably give a year to them all, and he already knew there were a few that he wanted around him for some years to come. As for the players, he felt the club was really well-positioned to give most of them an opportunity, as he wanted the youngsters to be involved in the project just starting.

Squad Summary


James Shea (24) undisputed first choice, and a very good standard for League 2. The ex-Arsenal youth was signed from Harrow Borough in July 2014. Kelle Roos (23) was on loan from Derby, but the Dutchman didn't seem worth keeping and his loan was terminated in pre-season. Joe McDonnell (21) was promoted from the U21 squad to serve as back-up to Shea. Signed from Basingstoke Town in July 2014.


Barry Fuller (30) an experienced right-back, the club captain would be first choice when fit. Player of the Season last year, he was signed from Barnet in May 2013. George Pilbeam (20) can play as a right-back or central midfielder, and his versatility might be useful from the bench. Ben Harrison (18) a promising left-back, the Academy product has been promoted from the U21 squad. Jon Meades (23) first-choice left-back, who could also play right-back or in midfield if pushed. Joined after leaving Oxford in June 2015. Ryan Sweeney (18) a young left-sided central defender, another Academy graduate and should get plenty of starts. William Nightingale (20) centre-back with a bright future after graduating from the Academy, and now pushing for a regular place. Paul Robinson (33) aggressive central defender who lacks pace but adds experience and leadership to the group. Signed from Portsmouth in the summer of 2015 after many years at Millwall. Karleigh Osborne (27) a centre-back on loan from Bristol City for the season, an expected starter. George Francomb (23) a right-sided midfielder who can also perform at right-back. A key player now in his third season at the club, he signed from Norwich after an earlier loan spell in 2012/2013. Callum Kennedy (26) a useful left-back who joined from Scunthorpe in July 2013.


Dannie Bulman (36) veteran central midfielder who joined the Dons in June 2014. Connor Smith (22) looking to book himself a central midfield starting spot after joining from Watford in the summer of 2015. Jake Reeves (22) lynchpin of central midfield, once a Tottenham youth and signed from Swindon in January 2015. Tom Beere (20) not yet established but capable of playing a few different roles in midfield, joined from Millwall in 2011 and graduated through the Academy. Sean Rigg (26) winger who can also play as a forward, joined in the summer of 2014 after being released by Oxford. David Fitzpatrick (20) a winger who joined in September 2014 after a successful trial, but is still a bit raw. Andy Barcham (28) first-team winger who joined from Portsmouth in July 2015, originally a Tottenham youth product.


Lyle Taylor (25) a lively striker born in Greenwich but now capped by Montserrat. Signed in July 2015 after being released by Scunthorpe, and probably the main goal threat in the team. Tom Elliott (24) first-team striker who arrived in July 2015 after being released by Cambridge, a former Leeds youth graduate. Adebayo Azeez (21) former Charlton youth striker who joined the club in June 2014. George Oakley (19) young forward who graduated from the Academy and is on the fringe of the first team squad. Adebayo Akinfenwa (33) veteran striker full of power and strength but lacking any form of pace. Joined in June 2014 after his release from Gillingham.

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Nice update Jogo. I'll be interested to see if you manage to get some production out of Akinfenwa. He's one of those players that either dominates or is dreadful so looking forward to that (hopefully you get the dominant Bayo!). I really like Lyle Taylor and Barcham is a real handful at that level with his pace.

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Thanks OTID. I'm trying a slightly different approach to updating on this save, and have to say it's really tough! As for 'Bayo, all will become clear...

AFC Wimbledon

Transfer Targets

Following on from the earlier squad assessment, Womble-Bassett was a fairly content man. Despite cutting short the loan of goalkeeper Kelle Roos (who was allowed to return to Derby), there was no need to add any numbers to his goalkeeping or defensive ranks, and he was excited by the number of young players ready to grasp an opportunity in the first team.

In central midfield, he had a few options, but there was one man that he hoped he could lure to the club on a one-year loan deal. Unfortunately, as you'll see below, Reading decided that League 2 was not good enough quality for the available Aaron Tshibola, and the Dons bold bid was dismissed instantly. It was a big disappointment to learn that the club wouldn't get to benefit from his energy and enthusiasm, but the boss reflected on it and decided not to approach anybody else for the role.


There was further frustration when the manager tried to strengthen his striking pool, as you will hear in a moment. With youngster George Oakley not fully developed, and with some doubts about the rather raw Adebayo Azeez, and over the fitness of 'the new John Fashanu' Adebayo Akinfenwa, it only really left two strikers who were confirmed as game-ready for the new campaign. Unfortunately, Reading again rejected a loan approach for one of their young reserves, with Rowan Liburd not being allowed the opportunity to hold talks. Non-league Bromley, one of AFC Wimbledon's listed rivals, were also not playing ball when the Dons made a fairly substantial bid of £50,000 for their lively striker Moses Emmanuel. These two setbacks came hot on the heels of a failed loan bid for his primary target, with teenage Academy graduate Daniel Agyei surprisingly uninterested in returning to his former club to help out for a season, despite the blessings of his new club, Burnley.


On the flanks, Womble-Bassett felt there were sufficient numbers, but perhaps a little extra flair could be introduced. Luckily, his first target was available, and with finances on the deal not too tricky, the manager was soon welcoming his first new player to the club. Capable of playing on both wings, London-born Hakeeb Adelakun fitted the criteria of being young and local, and would offer pace and youth. He also had a decent level of experience already at League 1 level despite his age.


Earlier concerns about Akinfenwa were still making the boss uneasy despite appreciation of his rather unique talents. The style of play that was going to be enforced on his strike pairing made it increasingly unlikely that 'Bayo could do the high-tempo pressing and closing down that was going to be required of him. After toying with the idea of keeping the veteran in the squad as an 'alternative bench option', eventually Womble-Bassett decided that he should consider a sale which would also free up a little bit of wage money. With some reluctance, he offered 'The Beast' out, and pretty soon a £10k deal with Bury had been completed.


At this point the boss was going to stick with what he had in attack, but then an injury to main goal threat Taylor on the opening day of the league season forced him to go back in to the loan market. Bristol Rovers striker Matty Taylor was one he would move heaven and earth to sign, but with a fee in excess of £150k, he had no chance to make that happen. However, it was his aim to make a swoop for the hit-man again if Rovers didn't offer him a new contract in the summer, as he could be available for free at the end of his contract. Whilst that would be a waiting game, there was no such obstacle that prevented him sealing a loan deal for their other promising forward, and again a financially sound deal was agreed that saw Ellis Harrison joining the Dons for the season.


The boss, for now, was satisfied with what he add at his disposal, and planned no more moves in the market. However, he did allow one of his promising young centre-backs, William Nightingale, the chance to get some first team appearances with Bromley - despite their refusal to trade Emmanuel just a few weeks earlier. The deal is only for one month, and Womble-Bassett insisted there is no chance that any extension will be entertained. Here is the summary of those first window deals:


The board were clearly supportive of the way their new man had been working in the market, and with the bonuses set low to aid the club's financial position, they soon volunteered to increase the percentage of transfer revenue retained to 60%.


So, that concludes activity for the first transfer window. The next update will bring us in to the first batch of fixtures, and hopefully that won't be too disappointing!

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Short little update on my Orient save...

I haven't actually done any more matches as I haven't had time, however I had some thoughts on tactics and potential signings so loaded it up quickly to advance a few days and get the scout reports in. One of the messages in my inbox made my heart sink.

I'm currently under a transfer embargo because I am potentially being taken over (again!). This time, the leader of the consortium has been quoted as saying that if he was successful in buying the club then he would REMOVE ME AS MANAGER and put Richard Naylor (my defensive specialist coach) in charge. I know that sometimes they do end up giving you a chance to prove yourself but I would be so annoyed if this happened for a couple of reasons. 1) After everything I have built at the club I'm pretty sure I deserve a chance, and 2) I'd be frustrated if Naylor got the job because he would be one of the first staff members I try and bring with me to my next job.

Will keep you updates as and when I get back on it.

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Thanks OTID. With Bulman and Robinson also in the squad, there were too many veterans.

That would be really harsh if you were replaced, especially by your own coach. Hopefully things will all work out well for you.

AFC Wimbledon


Pre-season went fairly well, and a number of solid results were posted. Womble-Bassett's managerial debut ended in a defeat to Watford in the FM Cup, but the club held out valiantly until the second half against their Premier League opponents, before succumbing to a 2-0 loss. However, the signs were that the squad seemed to be understanding their manager's ideas, and the positive mood was maintained as four consecutive wins followed, all without any goals conceded. A little blip at home to Bristol City, when three goals in four minutes around the hour mark turned the game, didn't undo all the earlier momentum though, and the Dons started their League 2 season feeling cautiously optimistic.

Hosting Plymouth first up, star striker Lyle Taylor opened the scoring within the first minute, before adding a second to earn a comfortable 2-0 win over one of the fancied teams in the division. A dream tie in the Capital One Cup saw the side travel to bitter rivals MK Dons in Round 1, and the performance levels were raised by Karl Robinson claiming it would be an easy home win for his boys. Keeping his calm, Womble-Bassett didn't let those antics distract him, and his players backed him up on the pitch. His charges twice took the lead, but were pegged back on each occasion - the second of which came after 92 minutes. However the script had obviously been written, and an incredibly satisfying win was sealed with a 93rd minute winner, as the away side responded immediately to that heart-breaking equaliser. In the after-match exchanges, the Dons boss revealed that the opposing manager's comments had certainly motivated his team and the travelling fans amongst the 18,690 spectators could celebrate passionately.

The one early season negative was losing the impressive Taylor to injury, but that didn't harm the performance in Milton Keynes - and it certainly didn't affect the team who then went to Crawley. A hat-trick from fellow forward Tom Elliott saw the hosts thrashed 4-0, and at that moment everything seemed sweet. Unfortunately, further injuries came to key players, with captain Barry Fuller and fellow full-back Jon Meades both ruled out along with Taylor. Back-to-back league defeats followed, and some small doubts began to surface, although a third straight loss (to Burnley in the cup) was a bitter pill to swallow. Heading in to extra time level at 1-1, the Dons took a 99th minute lead, and looked set to get back on track. However, they couldn't see the game out and were eventually crushed with late goals from the visitors after 109 and 118 minutes.

A dull home draw with Exeter followed, but then two impressive away wins - perhaps boosted by the return of Taylor to the bench - saw the club get back to their better early season form. By this point Adebayo Azeez had stepped up to the mark and was looking very sharp, and that saw Taylor remain on the bench over the coming weeks. Whether that was a mistake or not, who knows, but the final three results in September were mixed. Womble-Bassett could take some comfort however from the knowledge that - if the goals dried up - he could always bring his Montserrat international forward back in to the starting line up.

Below is a brief overview of the League 2 standings at this stage, and it's looking fairly good for AFC Wimbledon. Expectations of a top-half finish would seem to be quite achievable, and as the season progresses it would be interesting to see whether this kind of momentum could be maintained. A promotion or play-off challenge certainly won't be demanded by the board or the fans though, and there won't be any repercussions if the side fall away a little during the long campaign. For now, the new manager would certainly feel he's off to a solid start - and it's well known in the South London area that he was thoroughly enjoying his time at the club so far.


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So the inevitable happened. The board took over and removed me from my position in November. I was sitting 19th in the league but only 2 points off safety and only 6 points off the top half. I'm genuinely absolutely gutted because I really felt I was building something. Like many new boards, they decided to put their own stamp on the club. I was pleased to see 5 staff members follow me out of the club (Kevin Nolan, Paul Tait, Lee Harrison, Craig Smith and... Richard Naylor!!). The new board put Anthony Kay in interim charge until the end of the season (promoting him from U18 Coach).

It took me until the end of March to get a new job but I eventually got offered the Aston Villa job, as they were sitting 16th in the Championship. Bit of a step down but obviously they're a massive club even though they'd been in the second tier for five straight seasons. I hired Nolan, Tait and Naylor straight away. Managed to survive in the Championship with a game to spare while Orient survived on the last day. Anthony Kay then resigned his post and I snapped him up as a youth coach.

I was really disappointed to see that they decided to build a new stadium and increase their youth level at Orient over the summer which was all my planning but hey ho. They put Nigel Clough in charge in June after he was sacked by QPR at around the same time as me (although his were for genuinely poor performances).

Now here's a question... Obviously Villa start in the Prem on FM16 and this is the Football League thread so does this still belong here? Would people be interested to follow my save still? I mean, they're in the Championship on my save and they have been relegated in real life so they could possibly be seen as a FL club. What's the general consensus?

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Thanks offen. The fans would have been very happy with the win away to MK Dons, and I was equally pleased with that!

Thanks OTID. Yes, the win over MK Dons was very satisfying. We were very unlucky against Burnley also, to be honest. League form has been a bit patchy, but with the youngsters in my team I wouldn't have expected to be that high so soon. Goals were flowing quite nicely, but as you will see, nothing lasts forever!

Very unlucky for you at Leyton Orient. It seems to happen a little too frequently, but I guess that's modern football. A club like yours or Leeds are probably quite at risk from takeovers and manager changes, but at least FM is being realistic so we can't have it all ways! As for Aston Villa, technically it should go on the Villa thread, but I'm not sure how popular that is now. As you went so far with the save, I wouldn't object to you updating in here instead if you prefer although it was originally intended for the 72 starting clubs.

I wonder how you feel about my last result below...

AFC Wimbledon

Latest results

A mixed bag of results, particularly in the league. As mid-table mediocrity beckoned, we seem to have recovered in the last couple of games to hoist ourselves back up the table. We just about came through in the FA Cup replay with Notts County via penalties, but lost disappointingly to Wycombe in the same manner to exit the JPT.


Unwanted record

Part of the reason for our stuttering form was that the goals dried up. Not only did we set a new club record of four games without a goal, but if you look carefully we actually only scored a goal via any of our own players in one match out of eight. An own goal at Notts County in the FA Cup and a comprehensive hammering of Hartlepool masked over the struggles we were having at the time.


Something to celebrate

On the positive front, our last outing was at Leyton Orient - and few would have expected us to be the side to end their unbeaten 19 match league run that had seen them rocketing towards promotion. However, something clicked even though I hadn't made any tactical changes, and we raced in to a 3-0 interval lead. After a consolation for the hosts at the start of the second period, we wrapped it up with another fine goal to coast home 4-1. Here is the summary of our performance, and how the table looked after that surprise result.



Overview and next up

Here is a quick overview of who is doing what so far, and how we are doing with transfer funds and wage allowance. There has been no player movement since my last update, and we are turning a profit at the moment. Next up, Leyton Orient have the opportunity to take revenge on the outcome of our last meeting. To be honest, I fear they may dump us out of the FA Cup.


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Haha that's a cracking result over us! Mind you we could easily have lost 4 or 5 nil on Saturday against them so I guess that's fairly realistic.

I'm not convinced I'm going to last particularly long at Villa. It's been a bit of a struggle so far. I'm dreadful with "big" clubs so might end up looking for a team with a smaller reputation.

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*Sarcastic mode on*

Is there a team in the football league with a lower reputation than Villa? In all seriousness, I hope you will continue to update if you do pick another team!

I'm in to January with AFC Wimbledon and will update again at the end of the transfer window.

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Hello, erm, shall I call you Max? :lol:

Welcome! What sort of challenge are you looking for? Easy, hard, very hard? What sort of board expectations or transfer budget? Any philosophies or styles that interest you?

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Hi Max, it's good to have a clear idea of how you want to approach it. I can recommend AFC Wimbledon because their desire to play counter-attacking football is even written on their official website (copied in one of my earlier posts), and that's exactly how I have been playing with them myself.

I guess what you're looking for is a team with pace in attack, perhaps coupled with wingers and fairly solid defensive midfield players that can retain possession? On that basis, you might consider Mansfield, or if that's too tough, Leyton Orient? Alternatively a team with a strong defence could serve that style well, so perhaps Plymouth or Wycombe?

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