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Fer Fuchs Ake

This Saint Gonna Be Easy: Ch. V - Endgame

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image.png.9a426f0539a9e9d1c122be1f007798a4.png

Welcome to my first FM Career Update. I've been playing since FM16, I've been a lurker for the past year and now I've decided to make a thread. As you can see, I'll be playing as Southampton FC. I'm not a supporter but I like them as a club and I'm hoping to take them from top half/mid-table safety to one the top teams in England.

 

The Manager

Meet Michael King. He worked as a youth team coach for Southampton up until they fired Claude Puel. He was appointed as an interim over the summer, a stop gap until they could find a better option. However, due to his work ethic, smooth talking and knowledge of Ralph Kreuger's darkest secrets, he's secured the full time job much to the world's surprise. He's out of his depth, tactically inept and can't manage a budget for his life.

But he'll have to learn.

And learn fast.

 

5a0787e430018_MKProfile.thumb.png.13af1667ee64837434ef276f450a49e5.png

 

The Budget

£30m for transfers but there's some dead weight to be cleared. which will raise funds.

~£1.6m for wages, spending ~£1.5m.

90% of transfer revenue. After some blackmail pleading, this was increased to 100%.

The Expectations

Top Half Finish

Round 6 of the FA Cup.

They don't give a **** about the Carabao Cup. Neither does King.

The Objectives

Improve squad depth.

Make Southampton one of England's biggest clubs a good few year down the line. At the risk of sounding like Louis Van Gaal, it is a process. And one that'll take time.

Try not to get exposed as a fraud.

 

 

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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Preseason:

Quite poor, in all honesty. We were great in the first game and played as I hoped we would, but after that we were poor. Our form was erratic and our defence leaky. To be fair, some games were played by the second string. But given the strength of the opposition, we should've done better.

After the Alcorcón result, Michael had them all down doing laps of the training pitch at early hours. There were many complaints but dissenters were given an extra 3 laps. Next time try not drawing to teams from the Spanish second tier, lads.

 

5a07881da1f93_Preseason1.thumb.png.c7c7156c6a2e48cb9c8aeda202275033.png

 

 

A transfer update will come tomorrow.

 

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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11 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

Best of luck mate.

Cheers

10 hours ago, john1 said:

Good luck :thup: 

Thanks mate :thup:

3 hours ago, DazRTaylor said:

My favourite English club to manage in FM.  Will be following.

I've been meaning to manage them for a while. Now that I've finally got around to managing them, I'm really looking forward to it.

2 hours ago, mjaferrie said:

Good luck!

Thanks mate.

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I'm in for the ride. Best of luck to you man!

I'd be very interested in setting up a cross-universe with your guy and Hans, if that sounds like something you'd want to do.

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22 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

I'm in for the ride. Best of luck to you man!

The more the merrier! Cheers.

 

23 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

I'd be very interested in setting up a cross-universe with your guy and Hans, if that sounds like something you'd want to do.

Yeah, I would. Sounds like a good idea.

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Transfer Update

King didn't really know what exactly he was meant to do. Just sign the highest reputations players he could? Just buy some more central mids? What was he meant to do? Luckily, the scouts explained the concept of squad depth quite clearly to him. 'The Transfer Market for Dummies' he had heard them call it. ****ers Right back, the wings and up front needed strengthening was what he had been told. And so that's what he set out to do.

With many areas of the squad needing strengthening and also two players being surplus to requirements, it was a very busy transfer window. We spent big and also got in on the loan market and I'm very happy with the business we've done.

5a08b410a182a_TransferHistory1.thumb.png.2bac9e12462b8f6f4a03ad3c537ef03e.png

Outs:

Shane Long and Florian Gardos both fell victim to my minor culling.

With 11 finishing and 10 composure, Long was never going to cut it here and Everton took him off us for £6.5m

With the strength we have at central defence, Gardos was never going to make it and he was shipped off for £5m.

Ins:

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou

On loan from Spurs, Nkoudou won't be getting much first team football. He's been brought in for squad depth and will feature in the cup competitions. He can be a decent option in case of injuries though.

Nkoudou.thumb.png.8e7ccdb801a6a4a04d1f8907bc34fbfc.png

Shani Tarashaj:

Like Nkoudou, Tarashaj is only here for the squad depth. He can play out wide or up front and will be mainly seeing cup competitions. He'll only play in the league if there's an injury crisis.

Tarashaj.thumb.png.34f6b1890b3aa96de372c70562f55d68.png

Bryan Dabo:

A cheap option from AS St. Etienne, Dabo will function as a backup to Cedric and, when the schedule gets more hectic, he'll get some league action too. Can also play RW if needs be.

Dabo.thumb.png.23d8b2bba280462d9d4ced9a4dd0f082.png

Mohammed Besic:

For £14m, Besic is a bit of a steal in my opinion. While Romeu is first choice, Besic is a great rotation option and will see a decent bit of first team football. He's got good mentals and is a very solid tackler. Should make for a solid DM.

Besic.thumb.png.147531eb03979d7763bd4f50d25baa8b.png

Kasper Dolberg:

The marquee signing of the window, Dolberg is young, versatile and definitely our first choice striker. He's a club record signing and it's going to be hard to keep him here when he comes of age but for now, he's on a five year deal. I didn't think we'd be able to pull this off but I'm very happy that we have done. An exciting prospect, he fits the 'Sign Young Players' philosophy the board have as well. Very excited to have him around.

Dolberg.thumb.png.e61c8eab37505b49fda3176ef6afba18.png

 

After bringing in a player like Dolberg, you'd think the media would be all over that deal. £25m and no future fees. A player linked with all the big teams of Europe and he's come to us. It's a statement of intent from the club. We can attract the big players and we're not afraid to spend.

But no. The media are focused on the signing of Krafth on loan. OK, so it was a bit of a **** up but still King would've expected the attention to be on Dolberg. Krafth came in on loan to provide back up to Cedric. However, after the signing of Dabo, we didn't have enough room to register Krafth and we can't terminate the loan due to a clause in the deal. So he just does nothing while we pay his full £9.5k wages. A shambles, sure but Christ the media have been milking it. ****-tier tabloid headlines such as "Saints' Shoc-KING Signing" and "Not very Krafthy business". It's just a loan deal for God's sake. Anyway, despite that King was content with his transfer business. For someone who really didn't have a clue what he was doing, he felt that he hadn't let that show following a series of smart signings. Other than THAT one of course.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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Dolberg was quality for me in my Saints signing, 37 league goals!

As Saints fan it hurts to see the legendary number 7 shirt given to a plodding DM!  :lol:

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3 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Dolberg was quality for me in my Saints signing, 37 league goals!

As Saints fan it hurts to see the legendary number 7 shirt given to a plodding DM!  :lol:

Agree about numbers! I have a weird obsession with squad numbers and making sure each player has correct number according to position. I also find it strange when people change numbers of players from their real life numbers (i.e, changing Alexis Sanchez from 7 to 10 or something like that, whilst at Arsenal).

Each to their own I guess! 

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5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Dolberg was quality for me in my Saints signing, 37 league goals!

As Saints fan it hurts to see the legendary number 7 shirt given to a plodding DM!  :lol:

:lol:

Sorry, it's just that I don't really pay attention to squad numbers. I just give them the next available number. 

 

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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Sorry everyone, I forgot to show you Rafa Silva.

Rafa Silva:

5a09c4f5d7527_RafaSilva.thumb.png.54eaf7e4385bd1bb89b0944673ac5565.png

Silva is a winger who can play on both sides, is fast, has a high work rate and can dribble and cross well. He's a very good addition to the side and is on loan from Benfica. I was going to sign him out right for £6.75m but unfortunately, we didn't have the funds to do that after my other signings. I'm very excited about this signing overall though. He looks quality.

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For those that want to know how we'll be setting up for the season, these are our tactics.

Tactics:

Tactic 1:

5a09c83db9bb3_Tactic1.thumb.png.f1363d9237435c9a7fbe4bae8773c2bc.png

For when we feel we are the better side or we need to get back into the game against one of the bigger sides, this is our primary tactic. We will start with this tactic in almost every game except for the ones against the top 6. The XI you see there isn't the usual starting XI. Generally, Boufal will start ahead of Gabbiadini, Van Dijk ahead of Stephens and Ward-Prowse ahead of Hojbjerg. The only PI's in that so far are for Forster - Distribute to Full Backs. Romeu and Lemina have built a bit of a partnership which is quite nice. Hopefully other players begin to do the same.

Tactic 2:

5a09c95d49b02_Tactic2.thumb.png.59d9ca3f7cb9a643e734fedfe32339bb.png

For when we feel we're the weaker side, we'll use this one. Any game against the top 6 and maybe away games against in-form sides not traditionally in the top 6. Depending on the opposition, we may add 'Retain Possession' (we're currently on 'Mixed Passing'). For example, against faster opposition, it wouldn't be wise to go for long balls so it might be better to retain possession. The two full backs drop to Defend duties to deal with the strength of the wingers that the top 6 will have (Sanchez, Sane, Salah etc). We've got good pace in our wingers but not our central mids, so it's all about getting the ball to out to the flanks ASAP and hitting teams on the break. To that end, I'll add ‘Exploit the Flanks’ to Tactic 2 when I get the chance to play.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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4 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

:lol:

Sorry, it's just that I don't really pay attention to squad numbers. I just give them the next available number. 

 

Yeh it would have been vacated by Long, which was a travesty in the first place. Shane Long wearing Matt Le Tiss's number, the horror.  

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4 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

 

For those that want to know how we'll be setting up for the season, these are our tactics.

Tactics:

Tactic 1:

5a09c83db9bb3_Tactic1.thumb.png.f1363d9237435c9a7fbe4bae8773c2bc.png

For when we feel we are the better side or we need to get back into the game against one of the bigger sides, this is our primary tactic. We will start with this tactic in almost every game except for the ones against the top 6. The XI you see there isn't the usual starting XI. Generally, Boufal will start ahead of Gabbiadini, Van Dijk ahead of Stephens and Ward-Prowse ahead of Hojbjerg. The only PI's in that so far are for Forster - Distribute to Full Backs. Romeu and Lemina have built a bit of a partnership which is quite nice. Hopefully other players begin to do the same.

Tactic 2:

5a09c95d49b02_Tactic2.thumb.png.59d9ca3f7cb9a643e734fedfe32339bb.png

For when we feel we're the weaker side, we'll use this one. Any game against the top 6 and maybe away games against in-form sides not traditionally in the top 6. Depending on the opposition, we may add 'Retain Possession' (we're currently on 'Mixed Passing'). For example, against faster opposition, it wouldn't be wise to go for long balls so it might be better to retain possession. The two full backs drop to Defend duties to deal with the strength of the wingers that the top 6 will have (Sanchez, Sane, Salah etc). We've got good pace in our wingers but not our central mids, so it's all about getting the ball to out to the flanks ASAP and hitting teams on the break. To that end, I'll add ‘Exploit the Flanks’ to Tactic 2 when I get the chance to play.

I like the look of those tactics. Should be solid in a Premier League environment and get you some wins.

Question though, can Steven Davis play as a wide man better than Silva or Boufal? If so, I think he's your better choice.

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22 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

I like the look of those tactics. Should be solid in a Premier League environment and get you some wins.

Question though, can Steven Davis play as a wide man better than Silva or Boufal? If so, I think he's your better choice.

Unfortunately not. Davis is more of a playmaker and, at the age of 31, he has very little pace. He'll be little more than a squad player with Lemina, Hojberg, Tadic and Ward-Prowse favoured ahead of him.

As for the tactics, I'm relatively happy with what I've seen during preseason. They may need a little bit of tweaking perhaps such as the change I suggested earlier for Tactic 2.

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1 minute ago, Boycott said:

N'Koudou's attributes look pretty decent considering he's barely played since joining Spurs last year

A very solid option to have, no doubt about it. He'll come in very handy as the schedule gets more hectic I'd say.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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One month earlier, July 2017.

Michael sat in his office, refreshing his email, eagerly awaiting the release of the 2017/18 fixture list. He was anxious as he knew that, given his team's mixed preseason form, he would need an easy opening run to settle his players' nerves. More importantly, it would dispel the supporters' general distrust towards him. The fans didn't like him and he knew it. They made it known. Some were calling for his head before his first competitive match. "He's young, he's got no experience whatsoever and he's managed to get the full time job. Farcical" one of the tweets had read.

#DethroneTheKing was trending in Southampton. The fans knew something was up. They didn't know the exact details, such as the blackmail and the bribes he'd had to resort to but they knew there was something dodgy about the whole thing. However, football fans are fickle. Michael knew that. He knew that a good early run of form would make a great impression on the Southampton faithful. #DethroneTheKing would become #HailToTheKing in four or five matches. "He's probably Kreuger's illegitimate son" would turn into "Well, he did work as a youth coach for the academy so they probably just know some of his qualities that we don't" and so on. His reverie was disrupted by a flashing alert on the monitor:

"You have one new message"

It was the fixture list. Michael opened up the document and ran his eyes over their opening five fixtures.

Chelsea (A)

Liverpool (H)

Huddersfield (H)

Brighton (A)

Manchester City (H)

Michael slowly closed the laptop in front of him, put his hands up to his temples and groaned.

 

Present. August Review:

5a0b216a0521f_Month1.thumb.png.ec1584e8747b4adc2f1b200338d9d4f5.png

Overall, I'm very happy with these results. We got points off Chelsea and Liverpool that I never would've expected us to get. I couldn't care less about the Carabao Cup but it's always nice to win, even if on penalties. The win against Huddersfield was less than convincing but three points is three points. However, the major complaint I have is about Dolberg's lack of form. He's averaging a 6.53 after August and he hasn't scored or assisted despite starting every league game. He's a young lad in a new league though so hopefully he'll pick himself up.

Chelsea (A): G. Rafa Sila A. Sofiane Boufal.

We set up with Tactic 2 and held our own very competently against the defending champions. They dominated the game but couldn't find a way through. At the 40' mark, Rafa Sila pounced on a deep cross from Boufal to give us the lead. Chelsea threw all they could at us but we held firm. That is, until the 88th minute when Zappacosta smashed in an effort past Forster from 25 yards. Dolberg had a great chance to win it in added time after going one on one with Courtois but his effort was wayward. Gutting to concede so late but a great point gotten against the odds.

Liverpool (H): G. Manolo Gabbiadini A. Rafa Silva

Again, we set up in Tactic 2 against Southampton B Team Liverpool but this time it was much less effective. They dominated and we didn't even register a shot on goal for the first half. Dolberg had to come off at half time as he was on a 5.9. Salah got theirs at around the 36th minute The only reason the score was 1-0 at half time and not more was because Mane kept shooting from distance. We changed to Tactic 1 for the second half and really began to push Liverpool and create more chances. On 50', Gabbiadini poked home from a Rafa Silva cross to equalize and we were evenly matched for the rest of the game. Lemina had a great chance to win it late on after going through on goal but his tame effort was saved. I'm happy with a point though.

Bristol City (A):

Carabao Cup. Don't care. We won and will face Newcastle in the next round.

Huddersfield (H): G. Mario Lemina A. Rafa Silva

We set up in Tactic 1 vs Huddersfield and we got our three points. In a dull game, it was Lemina's 40' strike that got us the win. A worrying lack of chances created leaves me questioning whether to make changes to Tactic 1, however. Again, Dolberg was largely ineffectual. Other than the three points, the bright side to this result was that we never looked like conceding.

That leaves us with 5 points from these opening fixtures. Two more than I thought we'd have to be honest.

Key Points:

Rafa Silva has been a revelation, scoring one and assisting two. That's a 100% goal involvement ratio so far. Very important to our good start.

Kasper Dolberg has been very poor. He hasn't missed many chances, it's just that he hasn't gotten many. The service could be better but he's not getting himself into good positions and he's also getting dispossessed a fair bit.

We've been poor overall in attack. Our fixtures have been tough, sure but we haven't really passed the eye test when it comes to creating chances. Might have to tinker soon.

We've been very solid in defence.Van Dik and Forster are so incredibly reliable and Stephens/Yoshida/Hoedt are all great partners in defense for Van Dijk.

Romeu and Lemina have formed a midfield partnership (green line between the two). Hopefully more follow suit.

 

 

 

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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7 hours ago, john1 said:

Decent start, especially getting a point away at Chelsea :cool: 

Cheers. The point against Chelsea was completely unexpected but I was thrilled to get it. And we nearly came away with all three.

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You probably need to get a little more support to Dolberg, he is from my experience very good at bring others into the game. 

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9 hours ago, tajj7 said:

You probably need to get a little more support to Dolberg, he is from my experience very good at bring others into the game. 

Scored his first league goal for me today. (I'll hopefully have the full update posted tomorrow) Then injured himself for four months. :( 

 

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Yah he is injury prone, I got very lucky first season as he mainly got niggles and I kept an eye on his fitness/training levels under that new medical centre. 

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30th September 2017:

Michael sat in his office, frowning. A  great first month had been followed by a truly underwhelming second one. After August's results, he had felt that he was beginning to turn the tide. #DethroneTheKing wasn't even on the top 5 most trending hashtags in Southampton on the 31st of August. As he had predicted, some fans had begun to warm to him. Unfortunately, September had essentially reversed any effects August had on the fans. If anything, they probably disliked him slightly more. Now, #DethroneTheKing sat in second just behind #PrayForDolberg. Speaking of hashtags, #Lolberg was trending in our rival's city, Portsmouth. Bastards.

Overall, Michael felt confused. His team was doing very poorly. Lingering around the bottom half in fact. And for that, he felt disappointed and also a little worried.  However, he also felt a conflicting optimism growing within him too. Sure they were doing badly but they were expected to given their fixtures. They had faced 4 of the Big Six in their opening 7. And they had gotten draws against three of them. They very nearly won 2 of them. The results would have to pick up soon, Michael was in no doubt about that. But despite King's lack of managerial ability, he felt that he could turn their form around. October would start with a trip to Old Trafford. That would be a drubbing, no doubt about it. But after that, the fixtures were set to pick up. Some winnable games from mid October up until December would surely see them shooting up the table. They had performed very well against Spurs after a pre-match change of tactics. If they could play like that from here on, Michael felt that he could afford to have some hope for their season. But it's a big 'if'...

 

5a0dbe0d6e2b0_Month2.thumb.png.c3cb329bfe8ff866bea172059fcce7b0.png

Brighton (A):

Yawn. A snoozefest of very few chances. It was a disappointing draw against a newly-promoted team. We should've won it. Tactic 1 didn't work very well here.

Man City (H):

Against a struggling Man City side, we set out in Tactic 1 on Standard. A really disappointing performance saw us fail to register a shot on target. It was a relatively dull affair with Sterling getting the game's only goal after a terrible clearance from Forster. They say the bollocking he got in the dressing room from King could be heard by the fans in the stands by the dugout.

Newcastle (A):  G. S. Tarashaj (2), G.K. Nkoudou

Carabao Cup. Didn't care much going in but still I was very happy with the scoreline. A dominant performance which saw 2 goals from Tarashaj and one from Nkoudou.

West Ham (A):

After such a good performance in the Carabao Cup, I decided to give Tactic 1 one last chance or else I'd change it as I had previously intended. I should've just gone with my original plan as you can see. A dismal performance saw Antonio get the game's only goal. Again, we created **** all and we were punished. I expected at least a draw from that fixture.

Tottenham (H): G. J. Ward-Prowse, Kasper Dolberg. A. M. Gabbiadini

Following our dismal run of form compared to Spurs' solid results (they were fourth at the time), I expected nothing out of this one. We switched to a diamond for Tactic 1 and it worked wonders. (tactic below) We were 2-0 up at half time after a free kick from JWP and a tidy 20-yard finish from Dolberg. Some terrible defending saw us throw it away, unfortunately. Van Dijk's hospital pass across his own box saw Kane pull one back on 52'. A reckless tackle from Cedric on Kane on 65' resulted in a penalty duly smashed in by Kane. As alluded to above, Dolberg injured himself in the 93rd minute and is out for 3-4 months. A bottlejob against Spurs. The irony isn't lost on me.

Key Notes:

  • Well, that was depressing.
  • Any game Charlie Austin plays, he seems to get a minor injury in.
  • Dolberg finally scored. He'll start banging 'em in now. :)
  • Never mind. :(
  • The new and improved Tactic 1 might be just what we need to get some wins.
  • We need to cut out the stupid defensive mistakes ASAP.

Tactic 1:

5a0dbe14cdaa2_Tactic1.thumb.png.ec8235261fe87891bddb3834215a03e4.png

 

 

Injury KD.png

By the way, when you see ‘G.’ and ‘A.’ beside a result, they mean Goalscorer(s) and Assist(s) for Southampton.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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4 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

5a0dbe14cdaa2_Tactic1.thumb.png.ec8235261fe87891bddb3834215a03e4.png

Just curious as to how you plan to cover the wings in that formation. It seems like that duty is all on your full backs and it's gonna cause trouble if they slip up. Is Lemina as the Mezzala going to help out?

Last thing we want is for you to get wing-bombed by the likes of Sterling or Mane!

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41 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

Just curious as to how you plan to cover the wings in that formation. It seems like that duty is all on your full backs and it's gonna cause trouble if they slip up. Is Lemina as the Mezzala going to help out?

Last thing we want is for you to get wing-bombed by the likes of Sterling or Mane!

Against better teams, we'll play Tactic 2 which has wingers and full backs on defend duties. However, in general, I will be relying purely on Cedric and Bertrand to defend the wings. In turn, we will overload the midfield. 

If I think that my opponents are easy enough for us to use Tactic 1 against but have very good wingers (e.g. Stoke with Shaqiri and Jese) then I'll drop them both to defend duties or defensive full backs.

I'm also going to make Lemina a Roaming Playmaker. I think he's more effective as an RPM.

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31st October, 2017

Green. Glorious, glorious green. The beautiful colour which indicated that Southampton had picked up not one but two league wins that month.

Michael sat in his office, feeling jovial. "Tubthumping" played from a Bluetooth speaker resting on the desk, right beside his laptop. Christ, it had been a rollercoaster of a season so far. Good transfer window but a poor preseason, great August, terrible September and a solid October. There had been more ups and downs in this season than there were in that video which Gabbiadini had accidentally posted in the team group chat. The less said about that the better though.

Michael thought that the month would be another poor one after the drubbing at Old Trafford.That one, he would freely admit, was his fault. He had tried to rouse them in his pre-match team talk by goading them. Suggesting that they couldn't cope with the pressure they were under in an attempt to inspire them to prove him wrong. Whether the idea was good or not is debatable. His execution of said idea was undeniably ****. "If you can't stand the heat in the dressing room, get out of the kitchen!", he had roared. Cue very confused looks and a couple of snickers. Needless to say, his boys weren't exactly inspired leaving the dressing room. The scoreline may have possibly reflected that. Following that though, they had made it two back to back PL wins for the first time in the league this season. And for that reason, Michael could look upon this month as a success. He had shut a few of his critics up and instilled a calmness about a club who the media were trying to paint as struggling. They were in form and, for the first time this season, passing the eye test and creating some quality chances. The real question, though, was whether they could keep it up.

 

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October Update

5a1093ff7db8c_Month3.thumb.png.97029689e5f542cf68a13965dbde0d35.png

Man Utd (A) G. Mohamed Besic  A. Dusan Tadic

A disappointing, though not entirely unsurprising drubbing at the hands of The Red Devils wasn't an ideal way to start the month. We held them for the entirety of the first half but they took the lead on 48' when Fellaini knocked one in. Tony Martial got in behind the defence and increased their lead on 53'. Mike Chris Smalling scored a brace (yeah, I know) with both goals coming from corners. Ours also came from a corner which Tadic swung in. Besic blasted it into the back of the net on 89' for a consolation goal which made the scoreline slightly more respectable. If there was one good thing to come from the game, it's that Tadic and Tarashaj seemed to partner very well. Tadic played through Tarashaj twice when he came on late in the second half. He hit the post once and skewed it wide the other time. It could've easily finished 4-3 had he scored both. We played on Tactic 1.

West Brom (A) G. Shani Tarashaj  A. Charlie Austin

Following his exciting potential partnership with Tadic that was formed in the previous game, I decided to start Tarashaj ahead of Gabbiadini and my decision was justified. Against a struggling West Brom, it was one we really had to win and we did. It was a game that was equal in terms of chances created but very much in our favour possession-wise. Tarashaj poached home in the 50th minute from a beautiful cross from Charlie Austin. A neat first time volley from Tarashaj ensured that we would get all three points. A convincing and encouraging performance.

Sheffield Wednesday (H) G. Pierre-Emille Hojbjerg  A. Mohamed Besic

I played a very rotated side in the Carabao Cup Fourth Round and this meant having some players out of position. We were punished for this but the board don't care and so neither do I.

Crystal Palace (H) G. Charlie Austin (Pen)  A. Ryan Bertrand

Against a floundering Palace side who were barely scoring but were leaking goals, I would've hoped for something more convincing than this. Still, that's back to back league victories so I won't complain too much. We dominated possession and created many chances but were extremely profligate in front of goal. On a brighter note, we never looked like conceding. Despite there only being 4 minutes of added time, we got a penalty in the 95th minute after Ryan Bertrand was fouled in the box. What was looking like a very disappointing draw ended up being a much needed win after Austin slotted the penalty. We'll have to be more clinical in the future though. We're not always gonna have Fergie Time on our side.

Key Notes

  • Tarashaj and Austin are working well together as a strike partnership.
  • Tarashaj and Tadic have a good understanding.
  • We need to work on defending set pieces.
  • **** the Carabao Cup.
  • We're finally creating a decent number of chances in games.
  • As such, the new-and-improved Tactic 1 seems to be the way to go.

 

The League Table after October:

5a109402831d7_Table1.thumb.png.172bc188734522fab4980ea9d9a14ce9.png

We're 5 points off a top four spot and five points off the relegation zone. Tight margins.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are floundering near the relegation zone as Klopp nears the sack. United and Arsenal are a little bit off the pace. Stoke and Everton are the surprise packages with both of them currently on for a Top 4 spot. In fact, Stoke are currently league leaders. Sparky must be giving those Stoke players something performance-enhancing..

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5a130381971f9_Monthandahalf4.thumb.png.c9553d1868c131f7712479a1871545cd.pngOhShit.thumb.jpg.c0fc28ea45c70b7f9fbc103d1fe98da2.jpg*

Michael sat before Ralph Kreuger, in Ralph's office. After the loss against Arsenal, he had been summoned to the chairman's office to discuss his future at the club. He stared at Kreuger, waiting for him to speak.

"Well King, your performance at this club so far has been underwhelming. We're 16th and we're meant to be in the top half. In particular, this past month and a half has been downright awful. 9 games, 2 won, 1 drawn, 7 lost, 7 scored and 11 conceded. Frankly, that's embarrassing. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't fire you on the spot."

Michael remained calm. He didn't even break eye contact. "I've had a lot of bad luck with injuries. Dolberg injuring himself for 3 months, Austin's various injuries and there were injuries to Van Dijk, Tadic, Yoshida along the way. And yes, we're 16th but we're still only three points off the top half.", he replied. He made sure to sound calm and not pleading. Last thing he wanted was to grovel to this ****** for his job.

"Point taken about the top half. But that point about injuries is total ****. Dolberg only had one goal prior to his injury. The other injuries were relatively minor. Your performance has been poor and you can't hide behind fixtures because the only hard ones were against Arsenal and that Stoke side who are somehow second. And that Stoke result was still humiliating. I'm afraid, I'm going to have to fire you. I'll prepare a statement for you if you'd like", Ralph said with a smirk.

Michael sighed and leaned back into his chair. He'd had a feeling it would come to this.

"You do remember how I got this job, don't you Ralph?", King said flatly but the threat in his voice was unmistakable. Ralph flushed, realising what King was getting at.

"I hired you, you arrogant little ****", Ralph hissed angrily back.

"Technically, yes. That's true. But it took a bit of coercion, didn't it? I still have all of that stuff on you. It's all documented. I could release it to the world whenever I like. You would be disgraced. You would have to resign. Hell, you'd probably have to move abroad. And as for what your family would go through...", King replied with a victorious and also evil grin, deliberately leaving his sentence trailing.

Ralph looked apoplectic. "You're a sick, twisted piece of ****. You don't care about this club, you just care about what goes into your pocket. This club would be much better off without you."

Michael didn't even bother denying any of it. "Maybe it would. But you know I wouldn't think twice about doing it."

Ralph sat back in his chair, looking defeated. "Fine. You win for now, King.But the second you slip up, the second I think it'll be safe to fire you, the very instant you do something which would discredit anything you have on me, I won't hesitate to fire you. Now get the hell out of my office."

Michael smiled slightly, got up, pushed in the chair and left without another word.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*So after a dismal November and half of December my job was threatened. Thankfully I talked my way out of it, saying that we had a problem with injuries. They didn't buy it so I said to give me more time as the club needs stability. They agreed to that and dropped the issue. Thank **** for that.

 

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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5a130e9f60a70_Monthandahalf4.thumb.png.052ac7da6f40c5214828976dc1406879.png

Everton (H):

We were off to a bad start before we even played the match as Tarashaj couldn't play due to a loan clause (parent club).  Against a high-flying Everton side who were defying media expectations with a fifth place position prior to the match, it wasn't an awful result but it certainly wasn't ideal. I expected at least a draw. Phil Jagielka, of all people, scored the winner on 70' from a corner. We are really **** at set pieces.

Newcastle (A): G. Charlie Austin, Shani Tarashaj  A. Shani Tarshaj, Charlie Austin

A convincing 2-0 win to boost morale after the disappointing result vs Everton, we bounced back with a convincing 2-0 win over a Newcastle side who were in the top half. Both goals were scored before half time with Austin's coming in added time for the first half. Charlie Austin and Shani Tarashaj not only scored but also assisted each other's goals. A true strike partnership.

Watford (A):

In a tight game against fellow mid-table strugglers Watford, I was quite hopeful of a good result. However, in a tight game where either side could've won it, we lost it. We had enjoyed more possession and slightly fewer shots but came out with nothing to show for it. We didn't take what chances we got when they came and we were punished. Tom Cleverley got their goal on 28'.

Stoke (H):

Despite, the fact that they're in such good form, this was a bitter result to take. A loss I could've stomached given the fact that they were second going into this game. But they are Stoke at the end of the day and to lose 3-0 to them at home is embarrassing. We were comically bad and we got smashed. Berahino got two - one in either half while Jese got the other. Really poor performance where we created **** all and were uncharacteristically poor defending.

Burnley (H): G. Charlie Austin (2), Tom Heaton OG, Shani Tarashaj   A. Dusan Tadic, James Ward-Prowse

A very dominant performance saw us put 4 past a Burnley side who were doing worse than us at the time (15th). We got two in the first half with Austin getting his first of the game on 14'. A Tarashaj cross was then diverted into Burnley's goal by Heaton on 31'. Austin put us three up on 51'. We gave away a penalty which Gudmunddson converted on 56'. Tarashaj got our fourth almost immediately after on 58'. Stephens then diverted into his own net on 76' but it was too late for Burnley to come back. A very thorough performance.

Leicester (H): G. Shani Tarashaj   A. Cedric

This was a real shame as we only conceded in the 83rd minute after Demarai Geay's long-range effort. We had dominated the game and didn't look like throwing it away but then we lost our concentration and never closed him down on the edge of the box. Not a bad result but we threw away three points. :seagull::seagull::seagull:

Swansea (A):

Again, we were the better team in terms of chances and possession but you get no points for those. a gutting 87th minute goal from Bony did for us. We could've won it and very nearly drew it. Again, though, a lapse in concentration from a corner saw us turn a hard-fought draw into a disappointing loss against a team who are around we were in the league. Not one we really could be losing.

Arsenal (A):

The only game here that we set up in Tactic 2 for, this game wasn't too bad. We were against a very in-form second place Arsenal and I thought it would go much worse. We defended well and even created chances of our own. Giroud scored on 22' and Ozil on 27' followed up with another. A five minute lapse of concentration which cost us the game. We had two great chances late on which we really should've scored. Tarashaj and Austin both went through on goal but both finished poorly. To come away from the Emirates and be that close to drawing is pretty satisfying. The result itself wasn't though, which the board were sure to point out as you can see above...

 

Key notes:

  • Dolberg will be fit soon. Yay. :)
  • We need to focus a lot more in the last ten minutes.
  • We are way too profligate in front of goal.
  • We are **** at defending set pieces. :(
  • Tarashaj is a lot more important to us than I thought he would be.
  • Gabbiadini is a lot ****ter than I thought he would be.

 

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Maybe it's time to bring Pelle back from China? Or Le Tissier out of retirement again, even.

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I find it harder to keep clean sheets on this version and it's really easy to concede from set-pieces. Sorting out all the different scenarios and making sure you have enough men back during set pieces should help. I find keeping possession and switching to 'Contain' can help the team hold onto the results better!

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1 hour ago, DavidBeckham said:

I find it harder to keep clean sheets on this version and it's really easy to concede from set-pieces. Sorting out all the different scenarios and making sure you have enough men back during set pieces should help. I find keeping possession and switching to 'Contain' can help the team hold onto the results better!

Don't want to give too much away but I went on Contain to hold onto a narrow lead in quite a big game yesterday when we were somehow ahead and it worked wonders. Think I'll do it more often. 

Cheers for the advice!

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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9 hours ago, oriole01 said:

Maybe it's time to bring Pelle back from China? Or Le Tissier out of retirement again, even.

Yeah, my scouts' work will be very important in January. I'm sick of Gabbiadini's **** so I'll try and replace him. I may also look to move on Redmond in the January window as he's whining about game time.

If we could inject some of Le Tissier's genes into one of the youth players, we might score more goals but apparently that's “unethical”.

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3 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

I find it harder to keep clean sheets on this version and it's really easy to concede from set-pieces. Sorting out all the different scenarios and making sure you have enough men back during set pieces should help. I find keeping possession and switching to 'Contain' can help the team hold onto the results better!

Second this on the set pieces, don't leave it default because it leaves massive spaces around the 6 yard box.  I just went for a very logical set up, big players mark tall players, smaller ones mark small players, 2 guys on the posts, one/two forward who have pace to counter attack and would be useless defensively anyway.

Also remember to do it for ALL of the formations you train and for right/left. It's a bit tedious but it helps a lot. 

I also found Gabbiadini underwhelming, he's got solid all round attributes but doesn't really excel at anything and I think often for strikers in the ME this doesn't work out well for them unless you get the tactics spot on. 

I'd really focus on your morale, team cohesion and dynamics best you can, teamtalks, praising in form players, praising good performances, criticising bad peformances etc.  Seems really key this year to good performance. 

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5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Second this on the set pieces, don't leave it default because it leaves massive spaces around the 6 yard box.  I just went for a very logical set up, big players mark tall players, smaller ones mark small players, 2 guys on the posts, one/two forward who have pace to counter attack and would be useless defensively anyway.

Thanks for the advice. I'll be playing later on and I'll take a proper look at set pieces. I set up our defensive set pieces around October/November but clearly it hasn't worked! Back to the drawing board with them.

5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Also remember to do it for ALL of the formations you train and for right/left. It's a bit tedious but it helps a lot. 

Hadn't thought of that. Cheers mate.

5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

 

I also found Gabbiadini underwhelming, he's got solid all round attributes but doesn't really excel at anything and I think often for strikers in the ME this doesn't work out well for them unless you get the tactics spot on. 

Once I get to January, he'll be transfer listed. I honestly can't remember the last time he scored for me.

 

5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

I'd really focus on your morale, team cohesion and dynamics best you can, teamtalks, praising in form players, praising good performances, criticising bad peformances etc.  Seems really key this year to good performance. 

I've been paying very close attention to the medical centre and dynamics this year. Dynamics, as you said, appear to be crucial in getting good performances. I don't get much trouble from influential players except for Redmond (who I've promised to sell) so it's been easy enough to keep morale relatively high and avoid squad mutiny so far. I'll keep what you said about praising and criticising in mind as I don't do it much. Congrats on winning the Premier League by the way. If we could get anywhere near your side's consistency I'd be happy. :D

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30 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Surprising how crap Gabbiadini has been.

He's such a well-rounded striker, I thought he'd be really important to us. Just looking over my thread, I see that his last goal was at home to Liverpool. That was IN AUGUST. Let's just say I cannot wait until January. If I am able to offload him, I already have his replacement lined up (if he's interested in joining).

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3 minutes ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

He's such a well-rounded striker, I thought he'd be really important to us. Just looking over my thread, I see that his last goal was at home to Liverpool. That was IN AUGUST. Let's just say I cannot wait until January. If I am able to offload him, I already have his replacement lined up (if he's interested in joining).

He even has my favourite PPM of FM18, Shoots With Power.

It's baffling, he looks amazing. Did you try him behind the striker?

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7 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

He even has my favourite PPM of FM18, Shoots With Power.

It's baffling, he looks amazing. Did you try him behind the striker?

No, just as a Striker. I've tried Poacher, Advanced Forward and Complete Forward. I tried him as a winger for one match early in the season when Tactic 1 used wingers and Boufal was injured. He's mostly gotten bench cameos since about September/October due to his form. Tadic plays in behind the strikers and performs well so I don't want to risk Crappiadini playing in behind and going missing for the game like he has for every game bar Liverpool.

With Austin and Tarashaj pairing so well and Dolberg returning soon, there's just no place for him and his 80k p/w.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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Ah, Christmas. A time for giving and a time for getting. And, in some cases, a time for surprise gifts. And the football gods had certainly given him one of those with three points at home to Chelsea. And as for the giving and getting, they would have to be belated gifts that would come in January. Namely, the transfer window. Michael already had his 'wishlist' put together.

  • A better striker than OneGoalo Gabbiadini
  • A rotational AMC
  • A rotational RPM

This would have to be achieved through the sale of unneeded players such as Redmond, Pied and of course, Crappiadini himself. Above all though, he wanted some consistency in his team for Christmas and for the rest of the season too. That would truly be the greatest present he could get. Goodwill to all? He could take it or leave it. Good passes to his strikers? That was what he was hoping for. And it had been a good Christmas period football-wise. Two wins from their remaining three certainly wasn't bad. Winning the game after Kreuger had threatened his job was vital. It had meant a lot to the fans as well with Bournemouth being the closest thing they had to rivals while those Portsmouth ******s floundered in League 2. And, just for some added Christmas cheer, Dolberg had returned for the Chelsea game. The result against a struggling Liverpool side wasn't ideal but it certainly wasn't a disaster. He hadn't expected to win. And it was on Boxing Day, one day after Christmas Day. Tarashaj had been nursing a hangover after some heavy consumption of red wine so he went missing for most of the match. Lemina had stuffed himself with leftover ham and turkey so he could barely run. What a ******* joke. A roaming playmaker who can barely move. He was heavily fined. Still, they only left Anfield with a 1-0 loss so he couldn't complain too much.

And the big news was that the fans had gotten a bit of festive spirit. So much so that only 40% wanted him sacked. Progress! Kind of...

5a15c18edbd6e_HalfMonth5.thumb.png.0314beab4dba4280e8b48e69a1be6fdb.png

 

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Just now, BoxToBox said:

Good month overall, hopefully January is kind to you.

Cheers. I'll hope for the best. With the league table so tight, we can't afford to drop many points.

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On 11/20/2017 at 22:56, oriole01 said:

Maybe it's time to bring Pelle back from China? Or Le Tissier out of retirement again, even.

Pelle I think is on like £250k a week, that is why he went to China, I actually contemplated it myself as he is still a very good target man and I like as Southampton fan reclaiming players that we have lost and didn't want to sell, but his wages were prohibitive.

The Chinese league players in the game are a weird situation because most seem interested, even in mid table sides like Southampton at the start of the game but they are all on obscene wages. 

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