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Jogo Bonito

FM18: The English Football League Thread - EFL in FM18

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Another season, another phenomenal achievement:

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Not really sure how it happened. I played mostly 4123 counter, 442 in a few games and then different systems occasionally to chase or protect results. First season's key performers Gribbin and Anderson picked up where they left off, ending the season with top two highest average rating in the league, 7,55, 10 goals, 13 assists for Gribbin and 7,43, 16 goals and 9 assists for Anderson. Player turnover was huge but I didn't have any problems with that.

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Broke the club's transfer record with Camps, but wasn't too impressed with him. Although I did use him mainly on the left wing as an AP/S. Some very good free signings in there too.

Anyway, championship next. Getting Gribbin on a new loan will be crucial, he's pretty much head and shoulders above all other players in the team. Beyond him there's really only two players I trust to be able to hack it in the championship, Toffolo and Downing. Camps and Little will have to do. Biggest dilemmas are Anderson and GK Vickers. Both have performed very well but aren't too close to championship level, particularly Vickers. Some tough decisions ahead.

Will definitely focus on free transfers and loans even though I did get a decent budget. I'm not sure I trust the board's judgement on that. Despite the overachievement of the previous two seasons, anything beyond staying up would be a huge bonus.

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Really struggling to find a formation that works for Peterborough here. Getting the best out of Maddison (arguably the best player in the division) is proving difficult. 

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I'm playing with Ipswich and its really good fun. 2nd in the league after 17 games with the best goal difference of the whole league. Using Fluid 4-5-1. It might all go belly up, but its fun so far.

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On 12/7/2017 at 14:37, MaxeyN17 said:

Really struggling to find a formation that works for Peterborough here. Getting the best out of Maddison (arguably the best player in the division) is proving difficult. 

You could try posting your formation into the tactics sub forum for help.

 

10 hours ago, mbabbs said:

I'm playing with Ipswich and its really good fun. 2nd in the league after 17 games with the best goal difference of the whole league. Using Fluid 4-5-1. It might all go belly up, but its fun so far.

Cool! Just keep in mind eventually the AI managers will begin to counter your tactic if you continue to use it every match. 

 

I'm having a go with Forest Green Rovers again now that I understand how the injury system works in the game. It's amazing how many over paid players they have aboard their roster. It'll be a multi-season struggle to get everything ironed out correctly. 

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Good to hear how you are all getting on at your various clubs, I've had a good start with Melchester Rovers in League 2, but have to lose a player I really need as I have been failing FFP since before season 1 kicked off.

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10 hours ago, therealpete said:

Cool! Just keep in mind eventually the AI managers will begin to counter your tactic if you continue to use it every match. 

Yeah I have also got 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-3-1 up my sleeve. 4-5-1 is very effective so far though. Still 2nd in the league at Xmas after beating 1st placed Middlesborough away. Really enjoying this save.

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So I just won the title with Preston.

After starting off with trying to make a 4-2-3-1 work, and finding the wide players much less effective than in previous years, I switched up to a 5-3-2 with wing backs, found it much better at getting the most out of my strikers, Hugill and Maguire.

However now I'm terrified of next season, tbh, because everyone is really expensive, but the team definitely can't cope in the premiership!

Trying to work out if I should sell Hugill whilst his value is high, but can't find anyone to replace him!

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277px-Bolton_Wanderers_FC_logo.svg.png

Bolton Wanderers FM18 Club Post

The starting point for Bolton isn't an easy one, squad too good for League 1, but not quite good enough for the Championship. Staying up is a going to be a battle, but there is room for improvement, even with the low budgets. Whoscored info at the bottom is very spot on to Bolton squad in game.

Club Info

Transfer Budget: £10k (Minimum Expectations) - £13.09 (Highest Expectations)

Wage Budget: £200k-£226k p/w

Current Wages: £189k p/w

Club Philosophies: None

Key Players: Josh Vela, Mark Beevers, Craig Noone, Sammy Ameobi, Adam Le Fondre

Hot Prospects: None

Potential Formations: 4-4-2 / 4-1-4-1

Whoscored info: Bolton

Tips/ Key info:

- Start of the game Josh Vela is out injured for 3-4 months and Ameobi 2-3 months.

- Rob Holding has a clause that can be sold for £3.35m, which is huge. Gives you a new budget on the minimum expectations of £3.36m.

- This is only this much if you sell the clause before you have the meeting, otherwise it's £1.68m. Which is still very good as the squad needs a lot of work.

Initial line-up/system:

There can be money to spend, as advised above, but without it, it's going to have to be a simple/direct 4-4-2, lumping the ball to Madine and hoping to get something off of that.

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No TI's to start with, or PI's. Although Madine is the focal point, playing direct passing would become too direct.

Recruitment tips/info:

- Club only has 1 left back. Robinson can play there, but is better suited in midfield.

- A number of staff members are required. This should be a priority.

- Club captain Darren Pratley is the highest earner on £12k per week. He's not a starter, but selling him may be a bit tricky. Contract runs out end of first season.

Was going to make a thread, but don't see much of a point. But that's a decent overview of Bolton.

Edited by craiigman

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Absolutely gutted.

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We could've been 3-0 up before they scored their first, then they scored 4 from their first 4 shots on target. They had five ccc's and scored five, we had seven (!) ccc's and five hc's and scored one. Brutal.

We got a takeover during last summer, were taken over by a consortium. They pumped a bit of cash into the coffers and gave a huge budget (relatively speaking) so I ended up buying a bunch of players instead of just focusing on freebies.

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We finished 6th and beat Hull in the semi-finals. Norwich was a proper bogey team for us, played them four times (including once in pre-season) and lost every time. At best we were I think just a point or two below automatic promotion, but ended up having to make a late rally to get into playoffs.

For next season, we need a lot more quality. The midfield two of Cullen-Gribbin was good, hopefully we'll get Gribbin on loan again for next season. He'll even be home grown then, which will help with the annoying rule of needing to have one club trained player in the match day squad. Gunn is a great keeper (despite the fact he had an absolute shocker in the promotion final), Toffolo will do at DL and Sabiri and Camps are good enough to share the advanced playmaker spot on the left. Funnily enough, Camps was much better this season than he was last season in league one... The CB pair we ended the season with (Lienhart-Segura) was good, but both were on loan so difficult to say whether we can still have them next season. Segura is out of contract in the summer so will try to sign him, and to extend Lienhart's loan. Definitely need a RB, DM and RW, preferably a striker too but will have to see what I can do.

Promotion is definitely the aim next time around.

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Has anyone found any good staff for Championship/L1 in the first season?

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Sorry have not been able to add much to the thread, but hope you are all enjoying FM18 at your EFL clubs.

I wanted to compliment @craiigman for a great write up on Bolton, very useful and informative.

Seasons greetings to you all.

 

 

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3 hours ago, craiigman said:

What leagues do you guys recommend loading if I can add England + 4 others?

I would also like some opinions on what leagues to load when playing as a Championship club?  I always additionally load Scotland, Spain, and Germany.  Only have room for two more ideally so which would you guys reccommend?

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Premier league, here we come! :D

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Our season can be divided into three parts: a fantastic first part (w12 d2 from first 14 games). a rubbish second part (w3, d5, l9 in the next 17 games) and a fantastic third part (w13, d1, l1 in the last 15).

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As all my good teams seem to be, our success was heavily built on the foundation of a great defensive record. Birmingham and Brighton, who conceded joint second fewest, both conceded 14 more than we did. Annoyingly we missed out on a league clean sheet record by one clean sheet, only managing to equal Will Mannion's record at Hull last season, conceding particularly stupid goals against Portsmouth and Blackburn late on in 3-1 and 4-1 wins.

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Folivi, who had been a fairly reliable goalscorer in the previous season was shooting blanks from the start, ended up terminating his loan in January. Massimo Coda had a good enough start, but faded away pretty soon and then went on to get a succession of injuries which pushed him out of the team. Lombardi, who ended up being our top scorer, started brilliantly but lost all scoring form at some point along with the others. In the end it was January signing Bartulovic, signed as additional cover for the constantly injured Coda, who pushed us back to winning ways, scoring several winning goals in the late season winning run. We also made a pretty hefty profit on Maffeo, signed on a free in the summer and sold for 9 million in January. I didn't really want to sell him but as we were heavily in the red and missing out on promotion started to look a real possibility with our struggles on the pitch I really couldn't refuse it. His replacement Fiamozzi ended up spending most of his time on the treatment table, but Connor Randall, replacement 2nd choice RB for a badly declining Mark Little handled the position pretty well.

Got a decent enough budget for next season (our current wage bill is 160k per week):

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As of now we have I believe three premier league level players in the squad, one of them is a GK and the other two are on loan (Lienhart and Gribbin), so heavy investment is definitely needed. Hopefully I can renew the loans for those two again, although the fact that Lienhart's parent club Burnley got relegated has me a bit worried, they might be wanting to use him if they end up having to sell their current CB's.

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Well, first premier league season is finished. The first thing to do in the summer was to welcome our new South Korean overlords:

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The third time I've had a tycoon takeover happen at my club in FM. Got a pretty hefty increase on my budget, too:

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If I'm honest I shudder to think how we would've done without the takeover....

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Our start to the season was absolutely abysmal. From the first 11 games our record was W1 D1 L9. On the face of it we were playing well, just constantly missing chances, and because our attackers were so poor I wasn't sure whether the problem was tactical or just poor quality and form. I did try some changes, but nothing worked, until I changed my midfield roles a bit. After that we started to click, and in the end avoided relegation by a fairly comfortable margin, securing survival with a couple of games left to play.

Here's the transfers:

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A few proper quality players in there, but I really struggled to attract any decent attackers. Maguire was pretty much the best I could sign, and he turned out to be predictably inadequate. Cappelluzzo, who was more of a cheap backup signing turned out to be the better of the two, although he went on a long barren run in the second half of the season which had me tearing my hair out at times.

The target next season will be the same, avoiding relegation. I've been given around 40 mill to spend and 300k per week of available wages. I've already agreed to sign Jaden Sancho on a free from Dortmund, will definitely also need to add a striker. Unfortunately the options don't look that much better compared to previous summer. I might go for Afobe, he's a backup player at Wolves and looks like they might be prepared to sell on the cheap. He's 29 now, but looks like he could do a decent job for a year or two. There's also a very promising looking regen at Celtic who my scout reckons will be available for pocket money, will definitely sign him if they agree to sell.

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Just finished my second season at Swindon and successive promotions mean I am in the Championship. A large part of that down to Matty Taylor and Keshi Anderson who got 41 and 35 league goals respectively. However this squad now needs a lot of work if it is to survive in the Championship. Top of my list is a new keeper( Vigoroux left in January) and 2 new Left backs but in truth this squad needs a lot more depth added across the board.

My transfer budget is okay with £1.9 million to spend and just under £30k spare in wages to play with after Joe Williams signs. I have got one hell of a transfer window on my hands.  

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I'm thinking about who to be in my yearly League Two save... And so far, I'm thinking that it's got to be Coventry. It just has to be... 

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Yeah I am thinking of a League 2 save myself and I usually go for Coventry or Crewe but for some reason this year I fancy trying a save with Yeovil, Grimsby or Colchester.

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Just started my first save in the EFL for 2018. I usually stay away from England due to the ridiculous buying nature of the big clubs and nonsense inflated values of players. Started at Brentford and signed in Trincao from Braga and Monksgaard from the Brentford parent club in Denmark along with bringing in Lys Mousset, Callum Gribbin and Bene Baningame on loan for the season. I'm also badgering the board to invest in Youth again as the facilities are very basic.

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So Coventry is a challenge... £0 transferbudget, and already above their wagebudget. 

I guess it's trying to find loans, where the club doesn't require any contribution whatsoever. 

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17 hours ago, Gungner said:

So Coventry is a challenge... £0 transferbudget, and already above their wagebudget. 

I guess it's trying to find loans, where the club doesn't require any contribution whatsoever. 

Have a look at Callum Gribbin. If he's available for loan you should get him for free. He'll make a great AP, winger or IF for a league 2 team.

I think I had him on a free loan for the first two seasons. After that United started demanding wage contribution. I've had him on loan since then. Currently in my 6th season he's on loan as a key player, we're on course to finish in the top half of the premier league.

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1 hour ago, kozmik said:

Have a look at Callum Gribbin. If he's available for loan you should get him for free. He'll make a great AP, winger or IF for a league 2 team.

I think I had him on a free loan for the first two seasons. After that United started demanding wage contribution. I've had him on loan since then. Currently in my 6th season he's on loan as a key player, we're on course to finish in the top half of the premier league.

I second the vote for Callum Gribbin, was great for me in League 2. Also try get Martin Samuelson from West Ham on loan. Was my top goal scorer and assist leader whilst playing AMR. 

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Good to know, thanks :) 

There's also that spanish central defender from Arsenal... His name escapes me. Arsenal doesn't want any contribution, and he seems more than good enough for League Two. 

Edit: Julio Pleguezuelo is his name 

Edited by Gungner

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Any advice for good loan or sub 5 million players to buy for a Championship promotion chasing team in first season? Particularly a striker, goalkeeper and centre back 

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So, started a save with Coventry. Got Chelsea to be my parent club, so good on that and what not. 

Signed the following players on loan, without paying anything:

Julio Pleguezuelo, Arsenal

Callum Gribbin, Man Utd

Martin Samuelsen, West Ham

Also signed a Belgian midfielder, Stanley Aborah, on a free transfer. 

 

I also made a loan offer for a goalkeeper in Chelsea's U23 squad, as Lee Burge is out for 2 months at the start of the save. Figure it couldn't hurt getting a new GK in, since I won't pay anything for him. 

Edited by Gungner

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By way of a short break from my Dulwich Hamlet save for the Dafuge Challenge, I'm coming up on the end of the first season with Wolves. I was hoping for a bit of entertainment and honest-to-god footballing talent. I think I found it. First trophy, beating six Premiership sides en route, including Man City, Chelsea and second-placed Southampton. Some good players at Wolves, but the injuries have been horrendous! Looks like I'll be without hero 'keeper Ruddy for the remainder of the campaign.

 

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@warlock Well done, no mean feat to win a cup with Wolves in the first season!

I finished my second premier league season a couple of days back. A fantastic finish this time around:

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My counter attacking system of previous seasons wasn't working at all early in the season, so around October-November I switched to a high pressing system. Then around the turn of the year I started playing with a back three in away games. Those two changes are basically what got us that finish, although I think our January transfers helped a bit too, particularly Djair, my first wonderkid in this save.

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And seeing as we've talked about Callum Gribbin a lot here, here's what he looks like now:

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He finished the season with the 3rd highest average rating in the prem with 7,56, behind only Martial (7,78) and Hazard (7,57). In his six seasons with us, he has 231 league appearances, 43 goals and 56 assists in those games, 32 PoM awards and an average rating of 7,39. Well on his way to becoming a club legend, as long as we keep him.

In terms of future transfers, I'm having extreme difficulty of finding players that would improve our first XI and are willing to join. The likes of Almamy Toure, currently at Krasnodar, is flat out refusing to negotiate. I definitely need a replacement for Mamadou Sakho as he's declining rapidly, but any and all decent CB's aren't interested at all. Would love to replace Palencia at RB, but same problem again. I have a decent budget but the way things are looking right now, I'll probably just sign promising youngsters and hope my team is good enough to finish top half again, as the board are likely to demand that as a minimum.

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3 hours ago, kozmik said:

Well done, no mean feat to win a cup with Wolves in the first season!

Thanks. Looks like you're doing pretty well yourself!

Gribbin looks great but seriously undervalued. That, together with the difficulty of recruiting quality players, suggests that club reputation is still a negative factor. Hopefully, another good season will give that a bit of a boost. One of the drawbacks to rapid success, I guess.

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

Thanks. Looks like you're doing pretty well yourself!

Gribbin looks great but seriously undervalued. That, together with the difficulty of recruiting quality players, suggests that club reputation is still a negative factor. Hopefully, another good season will give that a bit of a boost. One of the drawbacks to rapid success, I guess.

Gribbin's value is due to his contract being up at the end of the season. I still ended up paying a few million for him as I realized in about February that his United contract had a one year extension option, didn't want them to use that so I just paid up immediately. I do have a couple of strange cases of player valuation, particularly right back Palencia, who's only valued at 1,1 million despite having three years on his contract and being a good premier league player. Will make upgrading on him even more difficult as I'll only get very little money for him if I sell.

But yeah, the reputation lagging behind is a problem. I can accept genuinely high class players, or players at established continental level clubs rejecting me, but when mid-table level players on modest wages flat out refuse to negotiate it gets pretty annoying. Still, it looks like all those players rejecting me might turn out to be a good thing... I was trawling around the player search screen and I came across a 19-year old Dutch regen CB at PSV who looks amazing. Will cost me half my budget if I do get him but as that's the position I most need to improve on I don't really care.

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51 minutes ago, Pandemicplanet9 said:

Everything....

That might be a bit too much to expect. :)

Had a quick look on what they look like at the start of the game. Squad seems fairly well suited to a 4123, which is what I usually go for. They seem to have only one left back (although the one they have looks good) so signing a backup for him would probably be a good idea.

If you're completely new to FM, I suggest you start with the 12 step guide in the tactics forum.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, kozmik said:

That might be a bit too much to expect. :)

Had a quick look on what they look like at the start of the game. Squad seems fairly well suited to a 4123, which is what I usually go for. They seem to have only one left back (although the one they have looks good) so signing a backup for him would probably be a good idea.

If you're completely new to FM, I suggest you start with the 12 step guide in the tactics forum.

 

 

Thanks. I thought to do that but lost 6 in a row and got sacked.... I don’t think that’s the way to go. Any suggestions on formations that are absolutely insane?

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1 hour ago, Pandemicplanet9 said:

Thanks. I thought to do that but lost 6 in a row and got sacked.... I don’t think that’s the way to go. Any suggestions on formations that are absolutely insane?

Insane? You mean a tactic that wins you every game? If you want to go down that road then I suggest you look at the download section of the tactics forum. Apparently the various three striker systems are very powerful.

In the long term I think it would be much more satisfying if you do your own tactics, but to each his own. My favorite FM experiences have been getting 109 points in the premier league with United in FM15 with a tactical approach I started working on in FM14 and getting into sixth place with an extremely cautious possession based tactic I came up with in my first premier league season with Ebbsfleet in FM17, despite having comfortably the worst premier league squad I've ever seen in the game.

If you do use downloaded tactics, I suggest using ones that are more realistic, i.e. ones that don't have three strikers, that have a genuine holding midfielder etc. Then as you play with them try to figure out what's happening and why, will help you learn how things work.

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Well, if you look at the squad, you're playing 4321/4231. Either way I'd be worried because you only have one striker, so I'd be looking to sign a backup to Zahore and - if it was me - I'd be looking to play 4231. So look through the forum for that formation/tactic and see how you get on. When you identify the problems, come back and ask for specific answes.

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Coventry is off and running. I've brought in Callum Gribbin, Julio Pleguezuelo, Martin Samuelsen, Michael Folivi and Mitchill Beeney on loan completely free. Also brought in Stanley Aborah, belgian midfielder, on a free. Pre-Season has been pretty poor... We beat non-league team Mangotsfield 4-1, then lost 0-1 to Walsall, drew 0-0 with Tranmere and lost 0-1 to Northampton, before beating Nuneaton Town 4-1 to end the pre-season. Not happy with only beating lower ranked teams... 

Edited by Gungner

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Added the Championship title to our Carabao Cup victory but I'm devastated that top player, leading scorer and fans' player of the year Dioga Jota turned down the chance to join us permanently. He'll be impossible to replace with the budget available, and I also need a good striker and a left-back, at least.

I'm far from confident going in to the Premiership :eek:.

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It's been good to catch up on everyone's progress, I was away for some weeks without internet access.

I've parked my Melchester Rovers 'create a club' adventure as my 18-man squad was way too strong for League 2 and it was a little bit easy. Since then I've done a full season with AFC Wimbledon (didn't quite get promoted in the first year) and I'm now in to my second term there.

I've also been keen to try a Championship side as it's been years since I managed at that level other than a couple of dabbles at Reading. I really liked the look of rejuvenating Nottingham Forest (good history, support, facilities and youngsters, combined with low expectations), and was seriously tempted by Cardiff (never managed them, and they have a really strong base squad to start with). Leeds were another major consideration, but I like the look of their winter signings and think I'll enjoy that more after the winter update.

In the end, I plumped for another club I have never managed, taking the reigns at Fulham - mainly because I wanted to see how I could get Ryan Sessegnon performing. They're a nice old club and I thought it may be an enjoyable experience for me without wallowing in League 1 or 2 for several years. The starting squad for season 1 was quite unbalanced with no decent strikers and too many wingers I don't like. Apart from that, there was a lack of quality and depth at centre-back, and midfield options that didn't really inspire me. As usual, I wanted to try and address all this in the first transfer window, making improvements to my liking but being mindful to balance the books. Pre-season was quite poor, but by mid-September we are going better than I expected in the league. Defensive recruits have strengthened the side nicely, but my one regret to date is that I wasn't able to find my key striker. Well, that's not quite true. I found them, but one had his WP application declined, and I was unable to get all of the funds needed on deadline day to complete the deal on the other main target I'd been chasing for two months.

 

 

 

 

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Season has started well with Coventry. 3 wins from 3 matches in the league, and advancement in the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 win over Rotherham. The 2nd Round is an away match with Bournemouth. Not liking my chances there. I'll post a bigger update when I've played a few months. :)

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Just won the Carabao cup, 2nd in the league with 10 games remaining with a 6 point cushion. 9 points off top. 6th round of the FA cup. Any suggestions for premier league buys? 

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Well my lack of confidence in taking Wolves to the Premiership proved to be misplaced - the lads have done me proud. With Diogo Jota refusing to join us on a permanent deal (he eventually went to Arsenal), and two loan strikers of doubtful quality for the step up, I needed to bring in some quality up front. Managed to sign Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan and Kaj Sierhuis from Ajax on season-long loans and they have proved brilliant. The lack of cover at left back was solved by signing Massadio Haidara on a cheap deal from Newcastle and although he's a bit inconsistent he's done very well. The only other signings were Sam Johnstone from Man Utd to backup the excellent John Ruddy in goal, and Kenedy on loan from Chelsea as backup at IF-R.

The two stars of the season so far have been Cavaleiro and Costa as IFs on the left and right with 26 goals and 32 assists between them, but pretty much the whole team has been excellent all season. With half the season gone, we currently sit in 5th place. We couldn't defend our Carabao Cup, losing to West Ham in the quarter-final, but we're through to the knockout stages of the Europa League having topped our group ahead of PSV, and we just beat Championship leaders Everton in the FA Cup.

2018-01-22.png

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2 hours ago, warlock said:

Well my lack of confidence in taking Wolves to the Premiership proved to be misplaced - the lads have done me proud. With Diogo Jota refusing to join us on a permanent deal (he eventually went to Arsenal), and two loan strikers of doubtful quality for the step up, I needed to bring in some quality up front. Managed to sign Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan and Kaj Sierhuis from Ajax on season-long loans and they have proved brilliant. The lack of cover at left back was solved by signing Massadio Haidara on a cheap deal from Newcastle and although he's a bit inconsistent he's done very well. The only other signings were Sam Johnstone from Man Utd to backup the excellent John Ruddy in goal, and Kenedy on loan from Chelsea as backup at IF-R.

The two stars of the season so far have been Cavaleiro and Costa as IFs on the left and right with 26 goals and 32 assists between them, but pretty much the whole team has been excellent all season. With half the season gone, we currently sit in 5th place. We couldn't defend our Carabao Cup, losing to West Ham in the quarter-final, but we're through to the knockout stages of the Europa League having topped our group ahead of PSV, and we just beat Championship leaders Everton in the FA Cup.

2018-01-22.png

I’m also second year, whose a good deep-lying striker?

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