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Sabine

[FM 18] Sunderland AFC - Save Our Sunderland

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With Sunderland finally getting relegated last season, an FM save with them has really gotten more interesting (probably even more interesting when they get relegated again this season :lol: )

Last season was the first season that I bought a season ticket and it was a sobering experience.  There was absolutely no hope from the side and the board/management were very much to blame.
The squad that we have inherited is.. not actually that bad for a Championship side.

Goalkeepers

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Three rather average goalkeepers with Ruiter being the better of the three, but not by much.  I will rotate a little bit during the season to see who is best fit anyway.

Defenders

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Very lacking in the defender department but they are all very half decent but still needs improving in terms of depth.  Kone is the obvious standout defender. He's worth a lot of money and I thoroughly dislike him in real life.. if I can get around £20 million for him, I will not hesitate for a second in selling him. 

Midfielders

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Undoubtedly the best area of the squad.  McManaman, McGeady and Jonny Williams look like really good signings for the team and I'm excited for Watmore to return from injury. 

Attack

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Uh.. yeah. No the wonder we are absolutely dreadful in real life.  I'm going to prioritise in improving the attack before I do anything else.

 

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However, our budgets are a huge positive.  I'm not beating around the bush here and I want to get promoted as champions on the first time asking.  There will be no excuses.

 

My goals for this save are the same as usual, become a driving force in World Football and win a title with a squad of home grown at the club players.

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Transfers

With Sunderland being relegated, I really need to highlight a few things that, although may make the fans irate, in the long term it should be for the best. 
These are;

  • Selling our highest earners;  Lee Cattermole, Lamine Kone, Jack Rodwell and Billy Jones are earning higher than the best player in the squad (Didier Ndong).  Darron Gibson is as well but I highly doubt that he will be a sellable asset at all.
  • Two of our three loanees kinda suck; Jonny Williams is fine, but Galloway is on a lot of money for a loanee and Browning is a bit rubbish. 

So to counteract this, I have cancelled those two loans and the fees for the four highlighted players are as follows;

Jack Rodwell

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Thank God I got a fee for him.  He's on ludicrous money for how bad he is.

Billy Jones

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A very decent fee.

Lamine Kone

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I just simply hate him.   He may be an excellent player in game, but he's an absolute liability in real life.  Get out of here!

Lee Cattermole

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An excellent fee for an excellent servant but he's turning 30 soon and is the highest earner.  The fans aren't going to be happy at all because he's our captain, but I have someone incoming who will be a direct replacement captain for him.

This has left us with an outstanding budget to play around with.  Massive team cohesion training will be incoming, but I'm not concerned at all.

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Edited by Sabine

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Transfers (continued)

After racking up a very decent amount of transfers for the club, I went on a rather large spending spree. 

I wanted this side to be extremely competitive in the Championship but also to be able to hold its own in the Premier League after we get promoted.  The transfers I made are as follows;

Conor Coady - £4.1 million from Wolves

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The new vice-captain of the team, Coady was highest fee that I paid for a non-transfer listed player.  He would be the captain if it wasn't for someone else that I signed..

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou - £3.7 million from Spurs

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An absolute bargain for a future premier league quality player, I can't believe that he agreed to sign for us.  He's the highest earner by a marginal amount, but he's young and an instant starter on the left wing.

Florin Gardos - £3.9 million from Southampton

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Another bargain from the transfer market, Gardos can hold his own against the best in the Championship.  He will be an instant starter with Coady in centre back.

Brad Smith - £2.9 million from Bournemouth

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A player who I bought for Oviedo's cover since he seems to be made of glass.  I do like Smith a lot however, he's a full international and is a potential Premier League quality player.

Shani Tarashaj - £4.6 milion from Everton

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Whilst I played a test save when the game first came out, Tarashaj scored 25 goals by the time it was December and was truly amazing.  It may be a little cheating to know what he's actually like, I honestly couldn't resist buying him again.

Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro - free

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One of the best free agents around, Akpa Akpro is a must buy for championship sides.  He's versatile and very experienced for his age, having been a regular for Toulouse for five years.

Andrea Rispoli - £2.4 million from Palermo  

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Our new captain.  There is no way I was going to turn down the opportunity to sign him after he was transfer listed.  A great leader with great work rate, he's also a model professional with an excellent contract.

Ergys Kace - £1.1 million from PAOK

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A very nice rotational option for pennies.  With Rodwell and Cattermole gone, I need as many central midfielders as possible as I play three of them in my team. 

This leaves my squad looking like this;

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I personally believe I could fit another central midfielder in here, but eight new players is probably enough.

 

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Pre-season and August update

Everything seems to be going to plan thus far.  The side had a very good pre-season against local sides and Irish sides at the training camp.  I always do this sort of thing because it still gives the team as much confidence as they would if they were playing the bigger sides. 

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I made one more transfer after the season started, so I shall introduce you to Ivaylo Chochev, a £4.6 million deal from Palermo

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He's very talented and experienced for his age and looks to be an excellent presence.  He will instantly start alongside Ndong and Kace in central midfield.

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A lot of games in August but some excellent results, especially the absolute mauling of Leeds and Norwich.  The team are blending extremely well, with the likes of Jonny Williams, Nkoudou and especially the great Shani Tarashaj.

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 His finishing is world class.  18 shots on target and 11 goals in total is a great return. 

Things sure are looking up at the club even though it's only early doors.  Everything is blending in well together and I hope it stays that way.  :)

 

8 hours ago, Whoarethey? said:

interesting transfer business

 

gd lk

Thank you. :)

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So after the international break, I decided to experiment with a 4-4-2..  It's not something I'll be playing all the time, mainly against easier opposition but it has worked out rather well to say the least.

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First off was a very impressive win against bottom of the league Sheffield United.  They were very low on confidence and we took advantage of that.  McGeady was sensational as an inverted winger but sadly is out for 3 months for a hip injury.  Nevertheless, the front four pitched in with goals and assists across the board.

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Against Nottingham Forest however.. I decided to do something that I've never really done before in FM and that's use the Overload mentality. And it worked!  My players may be absolutely knackered after the whole ordeal, but what a result.  The inverted wingers acted like strikers, switching positions with each other all the time and we utterly destroyed them.

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This is the tactic in question and I honestly might give it a go in most of the home games whilst I have both strikers fit.  I don't like the lack of possession.. but who cares when you're scoring 7 goals against Forest?  :lol:

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This is my normal tactic..  It's solid and I like how it plays.  I might change the shape to very structured and take off a few instructions to add a bit more stability to the team.

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Absolutely ridiculous.  I'm starting to think that he is well worth the £4.6 million fee already.. :lol:

Storming the league at the moment.  We have scored 43 goals in 12 games and are still in the league cup. 

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January Update

So as we get just over half of the season, things at the club are pretty... incredible.  We're absolutely unbeatable and nobody has come even close to threatening us in the league.

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Some huge stand out performances  so far in the season, including a 5-2 win against a near full strength Manchester United side, the already mentioned 7-0 win against Forest and overall, our excellent cup run so far.  We  have Fulham in the Carabao Cup semi final, with Arsenal or Reading waiting in the final.  The main focus of the next half of the season will be developing the younger players at the club.

Speaking of players, I have brought in a whole bunch of youngsters from across Europe into the squad with Ayoze Arcas and André Hartmann slotting directly into the first team as back up replacements for Darron Gibson and James Vaughan who are being shipped out.

 

He's amazing.  :cool:  38 goals in 26 games at the moment.

13 hours ago, john1 said:

Tarashaj is on fire :cool: 

Edited by Sabine

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Wow absolutely smashing it. Shani Tarashaj is providing solid back-up for me at Everton. He should do well for you in the top flight when you get promoted eventually.

Surely a record-breaking season ahead!

Edited by DavidBeckham

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2 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Wow absolutely smashing it. Shani Tarashaj is providing solid back-up for me at Everton. He should do well for you in the top flight when you get promoted eventually.

Surely a record-breaking season ahead!

 

He's amazing for the championship and is transfer listed right at the beginning of the season.  He's already rated a good premier league player, and I bet at 22, he has a huge amount of room to improve.

It's starting to look like it.. we can't be beaten at the moment and although I highly doubt the season will finish unbeaten, I bet we'll break the points tally record.

 

On 11/11/2017 at 18:33, john1 said:

André Hartmann looks awesome :eek: How did you find him?

I have the best youth scouting package and all 14 of my scouts are out around the world scouting for youth players.  Some absolute gems tend to pop up throughout the season.

Germany seems to be a goldmine.  I just signed this player and I have a new back up centre back hopefully incoming.

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