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Jogo Bonito

FM16 - The Sky Bet Football League thread

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L2, and not the best technically you say? Hmm, narrowed down to about 24 options there :lol:

Mansfield have a bit of pace in attack. York, Barnet or Stevenage perhaps? They're more about getting the ball forward early and using pace. There are better passing teams and more talented - like Orient, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Oxford - but those last four are a bit easier. Really hard to say what might be best for you.

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:lol: Realised I wasn't exactly specific there. I've taken a look at York and I'm considering them - especially with Josh Carson (who was an absolute beast for me in FM15 when I signed him for Posh) still there. Will take a look at Barnet and Stevenage also and see how I feel.

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I spanked Sheffield Weds 4-0 on the opening day of the season. Had mixed results since but also please to beat relegated Watford as they smashed me out of the Carling Cup in my first season. I assume they will have lost a load of players and I have obviously changed considerably but I guess it's a mark of improvement.

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Going well with Morecambe - we're 6th after 11 games. Peterborough were somehow relegated last season, and they're currently top this season, and looking like they're going to be this year's "Portsmouth" of the league, and run away with it.

Into the JPT Quarter Final after beating Crewe and Bolton in the 2 previous rounds, not bad :thup:

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Darton, not sure if you know it. Was behind Martin Cranie in the co-op the other day. He had all his Huddersfield gear on and was tempted to ask him if he could come back and rescue us. I know what the answer would be, he's too good.

Yeah I know it, it's about a 15 minute drive to where I live, although I'm currently travelling at the minute.

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I'm half way through season 2 in the Championship and as the transfer window opens I am sitting a respectable 6th.

Adam Armstrong has been great along with Rolando Aarons however my main weakness is I have no plan B so I'll be looking to make some slight changes during the transfer window.

I am not expecting to maintain my playoff place but it would be nice if I could

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For those of you in League 2, if you can afford Erhun Oztumer from Posh, do it. I signed him for £16.5k and 16 games into the season he has 9 assists with an average rating of 7.89 and 6 POM awards. He's been absolutely brilliant, wages are at £1k a week but hes worth every penny. Currently got him playing in AMC in a wide diamond formation and he just runs the show every game pretty much.

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I've just made what i would probably class as my best and most satisfying signing on any FM (only played since FM13 but still!); Ondrej Mazuch on a free transfer for my Sheffield United.

When i first looked at him in the pre-season, nah, no chance, wasn't remotely interested in coming to the table to talk to me. Saved to shortlist. Few weeks later, injures himself, out for 4 months. Thought "ok i'll have another look while he's injured, might be happy for the money". Would come to the table, wanted 25k a week, no chance, max i could offer was 7.25k. Gradually as the weeks progressed he's gone down every time i checked, first to 18k, then 15k, then 12k.

Then finally, mid November (my playing time has been so limited), he comes to the table wanted 10.25k. I finally got him down to 7.25k, rising to 8.25k. Now don't get me wrong, there are big clauses in the deal. Wage rise if promoted, goal bonuses (centre back though :brock:), clean sheets, all in there. And a £7,250,000 release clause. Something i wasn't ever saying no too, if anyone offers me that money in the next, let's say 2 seasons, it's going to help me so much as a club. Also has a £5,250,000 release clause if we don't get promoted, but if we don't i imagine i'll get sacked anyway so hey ho!

Finally signs, worth £5,500,000 straight away and his stats are fantastic. Too good to be rocking it at centre back for me in League 1 but i won't complain :p.

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Nice work profii, keep it going. Good signing Maxey, which club are you at now? Sounds like a very good bit of business there Michu, he should help you go up but if not there should be a massive fee coming your way. Possibly only their reputation that was big enough in League 1, but good commitment on your part to get him!

Apologies to all for lack of updates, have been fighting the African internet and electricity warlords so wasn't able to get online for a bit.

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I'm at York. Doing really well so far, 6th in the league after 24 and I have two games in hand after some postponements. Second-best defence in the league with only 21 conceded - signed Ricardo Santos on loan from Posh and he's a rock.

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Hey guys!

@Jogo - I'm going in to my 5th season in my save, after spending 2 and a half years at Norwich where I guided them to 13th and 12th place finishes and 18 months at Lens which ended In my sacking, I've taken on the job at Financially troubled Birmingham.

As they are now in League 1, may I post updates on how I do in this thread, so I can seek help when needed?

This is my longest ever save I think and with me having to sell pretty much their whole squad in the off season, staying in League 1 is going to be a challenge in itself. Trying to assemble a squad on £100k budget and £10k available wage budget is proving rather tricky. :thup:

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Nice one Maxey, impressive stuff. On paper they looked much better to me than in reality, but 6th is very good work indeed. I love the defensive record, that's how I try to build my teams up too. I would say that York is a lovely city, but saw some clips recently showing it wasn't looking quite at it's best :thdn:

Welcome back smp, of course you can. Birmingham is one of the original 72 clubs, so that qualifies them. Good luck trying to turn their fortunes around - perhaps let us know what your squad looks like :)

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Ok, well it's not the greatest and I think the quality in this squad is going to struggle to keep me in League 1 if I'm honest but it's all I could afford!

Goalkeepers

Scott Brown

Andy Lonergan - Free and experienced at lower levels. At 35 he's been brought in as back-up.

Right Backs

Jonathan Spector

Ryan McClaughlin

A position I didn't have to add too with 2 decent players already at the club and neither handed in a transfer request. Being a Liverpool fan, i'm more than happy with McClaughlin already being here.

Left Backs

Joe Bennett

Matias Toro

Another position I haven't had to strengthen. Toro has handed in a transfer request though, so if he does go then i'll need to look for someone else.

Centre Backs

Joel Lynch

Simon Tipple

Claude Dielna

Josh Martin

All 4 already at the club, with Tipple and Martin both being promoted from the youth team. Lynch has also handed in a transfer request so I may need to find a replacement before long. If the 2 youngsters don't step up, I can see centre backs being a big problem to my side.

Centre Midfielders

Ayo Obileye - Free

Jake Forster-Caskey - Free

Richard Duncan - Free

Tosin Kehinde - Free

Robbie Patten - Loan

Marc Dunbar

Again, the centre position isn't the strongest, but with me planning to play a 4-5-1 formation, I needed to get some numbers in. Foster-Caskey is the pick of the free signings for me. Patten on loan looks a decent purchase for now and I'm hoping one of the Nigerian lads ( Tosin or Ayo) will provide some strength to the midfield.

Wide Attackers

Viv Solomon-Otabor

Jack Dunn - Free

Gareth McCleary - Free

Connor Chaplin - Loan

Denilson Carvalho - Loan

Probably my strongest position I'd say at this level. 2 good free signings in Dunn and McCleary and 2 decent loanees. I'll try and utilise my wide players as much as possible in my tactics.

Strikers

Billy Sharp - Free

Makan Makalou - Free

Ronan Hale

I'm hoping my wildcard fee signing Makalou will bang them in, if not it's down to experienced goalscorer Sharp or the youngster Hale.

As you can see, bar a couple, it's a poor squad. I'll give plenty of game time to youngsters in order to develop them and will be asking some experienced players to tutor them. My plan is to stay up this season, whether that will be enough to please the owners i'm not sure, but I don't see how the can expect much more.

Wish me luck :thup:

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Excellent squad analysis, thanks for that. I'm reminding myself that a few of those players have aged a few years by season five! Full-back positions and wide midfield look ok, the midfield could be anything from awful to amazing as it's really a largely unknown bunch there except for Forster-Caskey, who is a tidy player. Hopefully your strikers can fire, again that looks a bit unpredictable, and your goalkeepers might not win you many points. I'd probably be concerned that your best two central defenders are both left-sided too.

Good luck mate, keep us updated and hopefully the board support you during this transitional stage!

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Unfortunately it just didn't work out. The ridiculous expectations of promotion from the board was just too much and with me flirting with the relegation zone 14 games in, I was sacked.

With no squad to work with on arrival and hardly any money, I thought I was performing realistically with the situation of the club, but apparently not.

Unfortunately with me starting with no reputation and now getting sacked 5 seasons in by a League 1 club, I see no where for me to go.

However, I plan to start a new save in the Football League as I haven't really had a go yet. May even head to Exeter ;)

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Hi all.

Quick update on my Accrington save.

First season completed and promotion is in the bag. Finishing 3rd with 80 points, 8 points off of a rampant Oxford side. My main issue is scoring goals! in 46 games only managed 54 goals, keeping a solid defense was the key to promotion.

My key performers were Matt Crooks and Josh Windass (top scorer with 11)

Onwards and upwards to League 1....should be interesting

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Great work Jogo! Great to see this thread popular like the last few years. Unfortunately I rarely have the time to play these days, in fact I only picked up the game this evening to install even though I've had it sat on my desk for the past 10 days. I'll pop in from time to time to read the updates but I don't think I'm going to play a game in The Football League to start with but maybe along at some point during the season.

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Finished the season in 11th place, Erhun Oztumer taking both the league's and fans' Player of the Season awards.

Then in the offseason a takeover happened.

Then I got sacked.

Urgh.

Time to start another new save! Really enjoyed York so may go again with them.

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@smp: Bad luck there, very harsh. Hope you will be back soon. Exeter would be a great choice ;)

@matty: Great work with Accrington. I'm a big fan of solid defence but you might find goals hard in L1 unless you can bring in a new striker. I don't imagine they gave you a budget big enough so a free transfer or loan may be required?

@Gunner: Welcome back mate and thanks for kind words. We're all worse off for your lack of involvement but maybe you will be tempted in at some point!

@Maxey: Another harsh sacking! Hopefully you have better luck if you try again at York. The nature of the city and low expectations makevit an attractive challenge. I also like that quite a few former players are on the staff. I'm saying that from memory, but think it's true! Good luck.

Apologies to all for my lack of updates. Really struggling with internet again but that should be sorted soon. I've got Mansfield season 1 completed but didn't continue, instead taking on Coventry again. Being honest the first year squad isn't really my cup of tea, too many loans and players I don't want, but I see lots of long term potential so will enjoy them from season 2 onwards. I'd fully expected to get Dominic Samuel in on loan to repeat his spell of last season, but Reading just won't budge when I try. My next six or seven targets also rejected a loan, but I desperately needed back-up in case the prolific Adam Armstrong got injured. I ended up taking injury-prone Jimmy Spencer on a three month loan from Notts County as understudy until the winter as a last resort. My only other signing was back in the summer, when I signed Gael Bigirimana on loan from Newcastle for midfield. The fans were pleased to see him back anyway.

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Just finished my first season with Carlisle, managed to exceed all expectations (very much including my own) by finishing second. I was even top of the table with three games to go, but really blew it with two draws and a defeat which then saw Portsmouth beat me to the title.

Now I'm faced with a season in league one, my squad is basically mid-table league two level and I have very little money (about 40k transfer fund and 15k available wage budget) to improve the squad. :lol: Most of the players that are blatantly not good enough are out of contract in the summer, maybe I'll release most of them to get more wages available and try to build a smaller squad but with more quality with cheap loans and free transfers. I'm not planning to do a long term Carlisle save and will likely be moving on at some point, but if I could make them at least an established mid table league one side before leaving it would be nice.

Any tips on how to approach the new league tactically would be nice. Park the bus or all-out attack? I had some good results against good sides by parking the bus, beat Portsmouth at home 4-1, drew 0-0 away at Huddersfield in the league cup but also had some terrible results. I didn't really go all-out attack except as a last ditch effort to chase a result, which very rarely ended well. I mainly played with a 442 with counter mentality which was consistent against mid table and lower teams, but not so much against the better teams, so I really don't expect it to work as such in a stronger league.

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Morecambe - Sky Bet League 2 - 2016/2017

After finishing 22nd last season, and dramatically staying up on the final day of the season, my plan for this season was to add some stability to the club, get rid of the players who didn't want to be here and re-lay the foundations of the squad.

League table - We ended up having a very good season, finishing 8th and looking like we have a very solid squad of players here now, considering that we had the smallest wage budget in the league.

Captial One Cup - knocked out in the first round by Championship Middlesbrough, who in truth, completely outclassed us - the scoreline flattered us somewhat.

Johnstone's Paint Trophy - My first piece of silverware as a manager! Incredible run really, as we had the toughest opponents of the lot.

FA Cup - Knocked out in the first round against League 1 Colchester, we never looked in the game.

Transfers - Out with the old, in with the new. I was happy with our signings, considering we had a shoe-string budget to play with.

Finances - Not great, despite me doing my bit and keeping within the budgets. We could do with filling our ground a bit more, as currently we're around 30% filling it. The board have given me a bigger budget to work with for next season though, which is great news.

Key Player Profiles

(I forgot to take screenshots of them at the end of last season, so these screenshots don't include their season stats at the bottom, which is a bit of a shame)

Tom Barkhuisen - Our star man of last season, who unfortunately, wanted to move on when his contract expired in the summer, so we lose him on a free. He was quality for us really and will be hugely missed. Played in all 55 games of the season.

Aaron Wildig - Keeps the midfield ticking over nicely and proved to be a very reliable player for us.

Philip Billing - We had him on a season-long loan from Huddersfield (again) and he's continuing to develop in to a very nice footballer. We've managed to secure him again on a season-long loan from Huddersfield, making it 3 seasons in a row he'll feature for us.

Andy Mangan - Experienced lower league striker, did the business for us upfront alongside Barkhuisen. Mangan managed to bag himself 20 goals last season as well.

Next Season

I have 1 year left on my current contract, and I'm torn in 2 minds whether to move on at the end of next season when my contract expires, or stick with Morcambe and try and get them promoted (they've never been higher than League Two, ever, in their history!)

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Billing is a lovely midfielder, works perfectly well as an anchor man or a ball winning midfielder.

If any of you are loading a new game, load the Danish league and take a look at Jonas Hansen, a midfielder. He's superb, perfect for anywhere up to the lower Prem. As well as Morten Koch, of course. From memory (my laptop is undergoing repairs), a full back called Skov is available for low wages and will do a job in L1/L2.

Also:

Danilo Pantic, Jason Eyenga-Lokilo (he's getting a bit of attention around the forums but I HAD HIM FIRST!. Had him in 2 spells for Yeovil), Joao Cast.. (Forgot his name, keeper!), a forward called Madsen. I'll update further in time

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After upsetting everyone in the capital one cup and thrashing Watford and beating Manchester United, succumbing to Liverpool on pens in the quarter finals Sheffield United are on the march again and are into the FA Cup Semi-Finals against Manchester City! Not going to well in the league though as I am in 16th, been between 12th-18th all season and constantly threatening to storm the league before losing a few on the trot.

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Any tips on how to approach the new league tactically would be nice.

The gap between League Two and League One isn't huge to be honest, so I'd advise just sticking with what worked for you last season :thup:

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Great stuff kozmik! I had a really nice save with Carlisle last year. I'm amazed you got to complete a season without having to switch any home games to alternative venues. Good luck in your fight to stabilise in League 1. I agree that continuity of what worked before is likely to be your best option...perhaps with one or two tweaks or player improvements.

Gizmo, very well done. A really good season and sets you up for a promotion push next year. Also nice that you got Tom back, I hope it works out.

Well done Lucas. I'm all for realism and United being poor in the league but great in cups doesn't get much closer to reality!

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Well well well how time has changed since my last post, I smashed out a long session after work today and wow are things different. My form in the league was WWDWWWDWWW. Which unbelievably took us to 4th! I could have been anywhere from 3rd to 13th before the final day but we got lucky and got the win. In amongst this, we incredibly defeated City in the FA Cup Semi final 2-1! After this we were left with a playoff against Ipswich, the second leg would be just two days before the second final so I decided to go out and attack in the first leg away from home so I could rest players in the second leg and it worked like a charm with a 5-0 win! We rested everyone and bored our way to a 0-0 in the second leg to set up a dream tie with Leeds in the Playoff final. Before that though we were back at Wembley for the FA Cup Final against Chelsea, who outclassed us in a 4-1 loss. But we picked ourselves up for the final, we went 1-0 down after 20 minutes and things were looking grim, but just after the break Louis Reed scored the decisive goal to put us back on level terms. It was to go to extra time, but Sheffield United hero and former Leeds man Billy Sharp (who was going to be released before this secured him a new contract) scored the winner, putting the Blades up! Never gone so crazy in a FM game, absolutely mental. Will post my signings for next season etc separately a bit later!

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OK lads, my very generous owner gave me 28m to spend originally then bumping it up to about 32m and I was able to get a bit more through selling players, so have splashed the cash and now have a very solid team.

New signings:

Johan Ouchene (regen, looks like he could be one of the best DM's in the world and is a very capable back up already)- 11.25m

Danny Rose - 6.5m

Fabian Delph - 5.75m

Benjamin Stambouli - 3.8m

Phil Jones - 3.6m

Jack Butland - 1.7m

Phil Jagielka - Free

Jonathan De Guzman - Free

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - Free

Demarai Gray - Loan

This is what I am planning on going with first players are the starters obviously and second players are the reserves.

Butland/Delac

Bacuna/Browning-Jones/Bartley-Jagielka/Bubnjic-Rose/Smith

Stambouli/Ouchene (regen)

Reed/De Guzman-Delph/Luongo

Adams/Torje-Torje/Manaj-Gray/Jarvis

Other squad players include Chris Basham, Billy Sharp, Tom Stabb (regen) and Loftus-Cheek. My squad is a bit large but I got a very high amount of injuries last season so needed to combat that.

Also, I was the runner up in the FA Cup to Chelsea, who won finished 4th and won the Capital One Cup as well, shouldn't I be in the Europa League this season?

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Great stuff kozmik! I had a really nice save with Carlisle last year. I'm amazed you got to complete a season without having to switch any home games to alternative venues. Good luck in your fight to stabilise in League 1. I agree that continuity of what worked before is likely to be your best option...perhaps with one or two tweaks or player improvements.

I'm not from the UK so I really didn't anything about Carlisle (town or club), except that it's in the north, I just read a bit on the BBC website a couple of days ago and noticed they were forced to play home games elsewhere. Good job I didn't have to as I was heavily reliant on tight wins at home.

I haven't really had time to play so I'm still in June, just about to start my first pre-season game. I've booked a load of pre-season games at various championship clubs which will bring me over 200k, should be good for finances. I'm faced with a massive squad overhaul since most of my key players last season were either loanees or veterans who were declining throughout the season and will continue to do so. I've also sold two players, Gillespie (GK) and Osei (MR) for 300k combined. Gillespie was very good but I've found that GK's are the easiest to replace and most difficult to sell so when Fulham came calling I just had to take it. I don't think he'll get a game there, more likely will be unhappy and transfer listed before the season is finished. I gave Osei a new contract at the start of the first season as his old one was expiring in December and he was excellent in pre-season. He then proceeded to be injured for over half of the season and when he was fit he was largely underwhelming. Sold him to Bradford, and can definitely see a similar fate as with Gillespie.

So far I've signed John Sutton for 1,5k from St. Johnstone, looks a good target man and should be a good first choice for this season and hopefully rotation option the next. I've also agreed to sign an old Italian GK as a backup/GK coach, but he should be able to be first choice for a season if I fail in my plan to sign Ben Garratt, whose contract is expiring and no one seems to be interested in so far. I've signed on loan Chris Long from Burnley, who looks like a real coup, and an RW, RB and LB/LW, hopefully they'll be backup players. At the very least will be looking to sign a first choice LW (looking at a couple of French wingers who'll be out of contract in July) and a couple of CB's. Maybe Terry Kennedy who's being released from Sheffield Utd, had him on loan for the second half of the first season and he was immense, 3rd highest average rating in the whole team. What worries me is his history of a recurring knee injury, according to his report he's very injury prone as well. Wasn't injured once during his time on loan, though, played almost every game. In all I expect that my 1st XI at the start of the new season will have 5-6 players from the 1st XI of the end of last season, so will be interesting to see how we get on. There's obviously a potential for disaster with so many changes, but hopefully the added quality will outweigh the lack of squad harmony.

In terms of tactics I'll be sticking with the 442, I haven't really used it in FM for years until now and I'm enjoying it. I made a couple of tweaks to my previous season's system and will be mainly sticking with that. I'll use the pre-season's difficult away games to experiment with a very fluid defensive 442, inspired by a piece I read on Strikerless.

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Really got bored of all my current saves recently so I decided to give Fulham a try as I enjoyed them last year. I'm finding it way more enjoyable with Fulham. More challenging. However just over 30 games played. I've yet to be beaten in the league with 17 draws and 13 wins. Knocked out of both cups and sitting 2nd in the league.

We seem to concede every match so my defence is possibly my worse aspect of the team.

Managed to grab Jesse Lingaard from Manchester United (which he is performing well over the 2.5 I paid for him) along with manamma who is currently on loan for the rest of the season. Managed to grab Spurs kid Odunwa for the new season after he finishes his loan spell at Rangers.

That's just a brief insight of what's happening. More to follow.

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I'm really loving the very fluid defending 442.

Bradford%20City%20v%20Carlisle_%20Stats%20Match%20Stats_zpsoalv8puo.png

Only a pre-season match, but still. Also won 4-2 away at Derby, although didn't really dominate them like against Bradford. Sutton-Long partnership up front is looking pretty deadly as well.

Suddenly I'm a lot more confident about staying up. Still in the pre-season, waiting for a couple of free transfers to go through and might look to sell a player as well if one of those deals does happen. Looks like my first 11 of this season will only have 3-4 players from last season's first 11. :lol:

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Soooo... 3rd competitive game of the season, Walsall at home, after a thrashing of Port Vale away 4-0 and a fairly creditable 2-1 away defeat with a late winner to Bolton in the league cup with a second string team. Quickly go 1-0 down, Sutton gets an orange injury at about 30 mins so I sub him off. Start of the second half, quickly go 2-0. Change tactics but initially forget to set marking instructions and promptly go 3-0 down due to a central overload (avoidable by specific man-marking...) while waiting for the changes to take effect. Soon after, a devastating counter attack with four or five players against my center backs and its 4-0. And then the icing on the cake: for the first time since FM13 or 14, my GK (Garratt) gets an injury, and not just any injury, but a dislocated shoulder. 2-3 months out. Sutton out for over a month as well. Talk about adding injury to insult... :(

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Right, I've finally managed to free up some time and I'm going in for my first real crack at the Football Leagues with Exeter City.

After having some really fun saves with them last year, it was an easy decision to start with The Grecians. A decent squad with a mixture of youth and experience and average facilities, it gives me a good base to build on. The finances are 'Okay' at the moment but I'll make sure I keep on top of them.

I've started with transfers off so everyone get's a chance to prove themselves, as well as giving some youth a chance. I've gone with no past experience and a B Licence, to keep it as realistic as possible. I just hope the board stick with me should it not start great.

My aim for this season is to match the media expectations of mid-table, whilst implementing my style of football and getting good control of the clubs finances. If we can get a top half finish then there's always a possibility of sneaking in to the Play-Off's but I'm not holding my breath. Maybe a cup run in any of the extra competitions would be a welcome source of income and adventure for the fans.

Wish me luck :thup:

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Great updates everyone, very enjoyable reading. I'll be following the progress of you all, especially the new manager at Exeter ;)

I finally had some time (and power) to crack on with my first season at Coventry.

I wasn't really 'hooked' on the starting squad, but was able to shape it much more to my liking in the winter window. The return from injury of young talent James Maddison (after five months out from the start) also made it much more enjoyable once I got to that point.

I'm now really looking forward to the start of the second season, having assembled a really nice squad for this level.

I didn't spend any money in transfer or loan fees last year, and only shelled out £8k on my new centre back this summer because I couldn't (or wouldn't) pay £130k compensation at the end of his contract. The other three arrivals so far were all free transfers from Championship clubs. I'm probably one player short of where I want to be, but I won't sign anybody just for the sake of it.

Last year I received £40k in transfer fees and this summer I have banked £375k so far, which is good financial progress. To achieve this whilst reducing the wage bill, improving the quality of the squad, and reducing the number of loan players to just two (loan extensions of my best two players from last season) makes me very pleased.

Unfortunately, I did miss out on my number one and two transfer targets in the off-season when their League 1 clubs renewed their contracts right at the death. But at least I got the centre back I really wanted, and I've been able to resist big money offers for both Reda Johnson and Ryan Haynes too as I build my young team.

I'll pop some images up this week when I'm able to do so.

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Good man! I'm back at Coventry for the first time since your original FM13 thread. I reckon it was fate that you should return just at this moment! Remind me who you're going with again?

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Good man! I'm back at Coventry for the first time since your original FM13 thread. I reckon it was fate that you should return just at this moment! Remind me who you're going with again?

Blimey, I feel like I should go as Yeovil and roll back to the good times haha!

I've just started now mate, had plans all that time ago but my laptop has been a mess, seem to have it fxed so can get started now.. got a team in mind...might reveal all in my next post

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Good stuff. Yeovil start off with an awful squad and 50% of it is injured too. Brave if you take that on. Look forward to your next update...but I'm out of here as power just cut and won't be back until the morning...

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12 games into the new season and I have to admit I'm struggling a bit. Currently 15th with 13 points, 4 above relegation zone. The thing that really amazes me, and has never, ever, EVER happened to me with any team on any version of FM... I'm killing it away and terrible at home. 12 points from 6 away games and unbeaten so far, 4th on the away table, 3 points behind Rochdale at 1st. Dead last on the home table with one point and -11 goal difference. Defence is by far the biggest issue, both home and away as we're leaking goals everywhere. Long shots, deflections, set pieces, crosses, long balls over the top, you name it, we've conceded it. Only had one clean sheet so far, a 4-0 away win against Port Vale on the opening day. On the other hand, we've only failed to find the net in two games, 4-0 to Walsall and 3-0 to Barnsley. Garratt will be coming back in a week or two, hopefully it will help a bit, even if the backup GK hasn't really done that much wrong.

In away games I've used the very fluid defending tactic almost exclusively with some minor tweaks here and there and it's obviously worked a treat. At home it hasn't worked at all, my worst home defeats have come using it. My counter tactic of last season hasn't done that much better really, no huge difference at either end of the pitch. I introduced a 4123 to get an extra man in midfield to get more control of the game but didn't really help either. A big problem is that my squad is built with a 442 in mind. My weakest areas in terms of depth are CB's and central midfield while my strongest areas are out wide and up front. Changing to a one striker system or any variation of 532 will see me having to leave 2-3 of my best players on the bench. But I do thing that I will need to do something drastic, and I need to do it soon. If our home form matched our away form we'd probably be in the playoff positions, and if I manage to get that sorted while maintaining the away form I would expect us to finish quite comfortably at mid table, at least. Thankfully both of my attacking-minded midfielders are competent also at DM, so I might try a 442 with 2 DM's, an anchor man and a regista or DLP/S to help solidify the defense. And then comes the question of style. Going direct has resulted in us constantly and consistently gifting the ball to the opposition, going shorter has resulted in the opposition pressing the h*** out of us and winning the ball in dangerous areas. So the question is, how to find a balance there? The one good thing about the current home form is that whatever I do, I almost literally can't make it any worse even if I played a traditional 235 so I can try anything! :lol:

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Great update kozmik, even though it's a bit of a rough ride. I would be going nuts losing all those home games, but at least you can leave the away tactic alone and just keep working on the home side. I was disappointed with my home record 11-11-1 as too many (late) dropped points infront of our own fans really held us back, but at least we didn't do it your way - I should be thankful really. I like the reference to 235 formation, that was the first ever style we used at junior school haha.

Plainlayzee, not a bad pick. Decent fanbase there if you get it right, and you start with some useful forward players with Harrison and Taylor. I would say you should be very capable of avoiding the drop, although they got relegated in the first season of my Coventry project. They also have some decent staff if I remember correctly.

It looks like we have a 'Battle of the West Country' to follow - Exeter v Rovers :)

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at least you can leave the away tactic alone and just keep working on the home side.

You would think so, but unfortunately I've lost my two latest away matches with a goal difference of -7. :lol: I did pick up my first home win though, a deserved 2-1 against Wigan, no less. I went with the 442 with DM's, control, higher tempo, shorter passing, play out of defense. Pretty much had the effect I was looking for, enough tempo to keep the ball moving and not conceding possession by dallying too much, cautious enough to not misplace passes all the time. I've also realized that a part of the problem was using a target man as a support striker - it makes me lose the ball too often with deeper players playing long and, crucially, low(ish) passes towards the TM which are often promptly intercepted by opposition midfielders. I don't understand why they don't make the passes high as well, I've got no qualms with playing low percentage long passes towards a big bloke up front (obviously, or I wouldn't have gone with TM in the first place) but at the very least you should put a high ball in so you can actually bypass the opposition midfield. The passes we were making were the worst of two worlds, really.

Against Wigan they were the better team in the first half even though they didn't really create much. At half time I changed the TM to DLF/S and it completely changed the game as we were well on top after that. Of course it was still Wigan that scored first around the hour mark completely against the run of play but for once I managed to actually fight back and go on to win. I thought that would be a turning point but if anything things have taken a turn for the worse with the away form going down the drain as well.

In terms of stats I think I'm doing pretty well all things considered. In a 3-1 away defeat to Peterborough I had more possession, more shots, equal amount of shots on target and more chances created, they won 3-1 - and it's been a similar story in other games as well. None of my strikers seem to be firing at the moment, Sutton has yet to score his first competitive goal for us, same with loaned striker Novakovich. Long scored a good few earlier in the season but seems to have dried up as well. I'm not really sure whether I should now persist with what I have since I can mostly control games or if I should still tweak and experiment. In real life you would expect that if you can usually have more possession, more shots and more chances than the opposition then you should be winning games as well, but with FM you never know.

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Good luck smplfc123, look forward to hearing your updates :thup:

Cheers mate :thup:

And thanks Jogo I'm taking my time with this one. Making sure I set a good base with my tactical approach.

Looking forward to those screenshots!

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25 games into the season and it looks like we've finally turned a corner. After a run of 10 games with just one win, against Dover in the FA Cup, I'm now sitting on four consecutive wins. All away games, of course. 3-1 and 2-1 against fellow strugglers Blackpool and Bolton and very impressive 2-0 and 4-0 against Scunthorpe and Walsall, top two of the league table. The Walsall result might flatter us a bit as Garratt made a few excellent saves, but a well deserved win definitely, and a nice payback for their 4-0 win over us earlier in the season.

Walsall%20v%20Carlisle_%20Stats%20Match%20Stats_zpszln3jmup.png

"Defensive football" :lol:

Currently 15th, 11 points above relegation zone. I think the reason for this upturn in fortunes is that about 1,5-2 months ago I switched general training to team cohesion and set pre-match training at teamwork and very high level (2 days of pre-match training). It has greatly improved squad harmony. Also coinciding with this run was that I changed the role of one of my CB's from CD to LD, which has helped him cut out some mistakes, and he was making plenty earlier.

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It's funny how quickly things change in this game. After 21 games we were 19th, 2 points above relegation zone and without a win in 7 league games. Then we went on an incredible run of 10 wins in 11 games, only losing 2-1 at home to Rotherham by pushing too hard for a winner and getting hit on the counter late on. After that run we were 8th, 20 point above relegation zone and 3 points off the playoff positions. In the last 6 games since then we have one win, one draw and four defeats with a goal difference of 2-12. We're still 9th on the table, 13 points above bottom four with 8 games to go so I'm sure we'll be staying up, but at the same time it's incredibly frustrating to go on such a terrible run after a great surge up the table.

It currently looks like Middlesbrough will be sacking their manager at the end of the season as they're currently sitting at 17th and his job status is insecure. If I don't get a decent budget to improve the squad at Carlisle, I might apply for that. I've signed a few great players on free transfers but you can't expect to sign a Sergio Garufi on a free every season...

Sergio%20Garufi_%20Reports%20Coach%20Report_zpsnodwxfsx.png

Great player. :thup:

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Haven't updated this in ages. In fact i think i was back in League 1 the last time i did an update. Anyway, after winning promotion to the Championship i have since finished top on 91 points and won promotion to the Premiership. First season in the Championship i managed a reasonable 13th but after that i got a takeover from an Italian tycoon and never looked back. He gave me 7.5M to spend in transfers and although i actually made a profit on transfers by the end of the season it was being able to offer higher wages which helped me achieve promotion.

I built a decent side with a lot of ex premiership players and finished it off with some high quality loans in January.

Mitchell Beeney was my first goalkeeper, released by Chelsea and he's progressed well throughout the season and is probably just about good enough for the top division.

Full Backs, i had Ryan Fredericks at Right Back who cost me only 250k and was one of the signings of the season. Played virtually every game and wracked up several assists. Just signed a new 3 year deal too. Left Back was a bit of an issue, had James Husband on loan but he was injured for a lot of the season so used a Czech regen who was half decent but will need to improve that position for next season. Also got Darikwa as back up to Fredericks in January so i'm pretty solid there.

Centre Backs, Shane Duffy is the club captain and although he has discipline issuse he's pretty solid so will keep him for next season. Also got Cameron Humphreys and Tosin Adarabioyo on loan from Man City. Both did well and might see if i can tempt one of them here permanently.

Centre Midfield, i used Darron Gibson and David Meyler from the beginning of the season and they both completely ran the show, particularly Gibson. However, in January i managed to tempt Adrien Rabiot and Lewis Baker on loan until the end of the season. Rabiot was a massive disappointment although i still took the 2M future fee i'd arranged in the hope of some profit in the future. Baker was outstanding though with an average rating of 7.67 from 19 appearances. I've tried to sign him permanently but have struggled so far. Will keep trying! I had Matt Grimes too but he only made 12 appearances.

Futher forward i had Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell, Jordan Graham as the first choice three behind the striker. Lingard eventually ended up as fans player of the year with 17 goals and 11 assists, starting every single game. Jordan Graham completely outdid his stats and is a great winger at Championship level and Powell chipped in with 6 goals from 32 appearances. I also got Callum Mcmanaman at the start of the season but he spent the majority of his time out injured and i tempted Wilf Zaha on loan in January and he was different class so i've just made his deal permanent for just 2.5M!

Up front i had Rudy Gestede who cost me 400k. He got 10 in 32 which isn't bad and he took turns with Jason Cummings over the No.9 role. Cummings ended up with 14 in 37, so pretty similar.

Will look for a new Left Back, Centre Back, Centre Midfielder, Winger and Striker in the summer.

Already had Jesse Lingard tell me he wants to leave as i can't agree a new deal and the same with Darron Gibson. Will move some fringe players on too like Mcmanaman and one or two others. Looking forward to the new season and with a few good additions i reckon i can get 17th!

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Nice one Gareth, sounds like it going great for you :thup:

(what team are you managing?!)

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