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Jogo Bonito

FM18: The English Football League Thread - EFL in FM18

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Fulham had a decent enough end to the regular campaign, but conceding an 85th minute goal to eventual winners Leeds was a disappointment

Then we threw away a 2-0 lead at Sheffield Wednesday to lose 3-2, killing all serious hopes of a top two finish

But we finished in good form, claiming 3rd spot on 90 points behind Leeds (98 points) and Wolves (93 points)

Our win over Birmingham and victories on the final day for Ipswich and Preston saw the Blues drop from 5th to 7th, missing the play-offs by 2 points (ouch)

Bristol City came 4th (81 points), with Preston 5th (79 points) and Ipswich 6th (78 points)

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The play off semi finals would see us play Ipswich, whilst Bristol City had to face Preston

And a week before the first leg, I was delighted to get Ryan Sessegnon to sign a new deal

I could only extend it from 2020 to 2021 (and had to agree certain release clauses), but I had to do it anyway!

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Perhaps inspired by that news, we played Ipswich off the park at Portman Road in the first leg

I think this was reward for not going there and trying to keep it tight, I just kept our shape and formation the same as usual  

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The second leg at home was comfortable too, so we had completed the job nicely

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So, back to Wembley where had won the Carabao Cup in February. Bristol City would be our opponents...

I didn't have great expectations, but a goal after 14 seconds (yes) put us in control

Sessegnon (who else) later grabbed his second, and that was it - mission accomplished

"We are Premier League, say we are Premier League..."

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What a lovely way to end my first season in charge of Fulham, three near-perfect results when the pressure was on

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And here is the final table

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The club swiftly informed me of the budget for our Premier League return. Not bad at all, thanks Shahid!

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And this is how the club was looking at that point. Financially, this promotion had probably saved us from serious trouble

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Here is the squad review at the end of the season (not including Mitrovic, whose loan had been terminated in January for financial reasons)

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It won't be a surprise to say that Sessegnon won our Player of the Season award (77% of votes)

Jonathan Leko was my other star performer, his returns from the right-wing were incredible too

But I had some really good contributions from the majority of our tight-knit squad, so no complaints from me whatsoever

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'Sess' was also the Championship top scorer, with 29 league goals from his left-wing position (including three hat-tricks)

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And unsurprisingly he won the Championship award for Player of the Year

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An award that he graciously dedicated to me, cheers Ryan

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He also apparently won the record for fastest Championship goal - coming after just 14 seconds of the Play-Off final...

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Amongst his other accolades in the Championship were top rankings for:

15 player of the match awards (next best was 10)

Highest average rating (7.58) 

5 young player of the month awards

3 player of the month awards (September, December and February)

And of course, there were countless selections in the team of the week...

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

mission accomplished

Well done - that's a brilliant campaign! Budget for next season looks pretty good, too. Hope you don't have to expel yourself from the 'football league' thread :lol:.

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Haha, good one. Technically I am ok to continue as one of the 72 EFL clubs, but that would be ironic if I had to ban myself!!

I'm not that fussed about the Premier League, but might give it one more season to see if we can survive. I also have Europa League qualifiiers to contend with, so that might make a second season interesting.

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2 hours ago, Dan McCullough said:

Great work on winning the playoffs @Jogo Bonito, looking forward to seeing how you do in the Premier League. Ryan Sessegnon had an incredible campaign. 

Thanks Dan, it surprised me to get promoted and I was even more surprised to win the Carabao Cup. In some respects I wish we hadn't done so well in season 1 as it's not going to have the same appeal to me in the Premier League. Ryan Sessegnon was incredible, I actually don't know how he did all that from a traditional left-wing position. It's fair to say that he has delivered the best individual performance over a season ever seen under my management - at any club and by any player.

I might push forward with Peterborough for a bit, to finish off their first season. Or I might start working on the shipwreck at Reading. Or might even delve in to League 2 as a slow burner is probably more up my street than the success at Fulham (fun as it was).

 

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Cheltenham Town - Season One - January Update

It's same old Cheltenham really. Our home form has been great and our away form has been the downfall of our problems, however there has been so variation in both. December proved to be a poor month to begin with, as we lost our first home game of the season against Crewe, who were steamrolling the league, after a late goal. This was followed up by two away defeats and a second loss at Whaddon Road to playoff chasing Yeovil Town. Realising we couldn't afford to drop points, I had a team meeting to try and raise the confidence levels of the players again and thankfully it paid off. This led us to beat struggling Newport 4-2, however we did originally blow a 2-0 lead which had me concerned. 

We played again just two days later on New Year's Day, away against Stevenage, another side that aren't particularly having a fantastic season. I was hoping for 'New year, new Cheltenham away form' and that's what I got. We managed to fight back from 2-0 down to eventually win 3-2 in a brilliant game for the neutral, but a tense game for me as Stevenage continually looked to make up for their collapse. The Colchester game which followed that was immensely frustrating as our defence split open far too easily and gifted them a goal which eventually proved to be the winner, the wish I had seemed to just be a one-off result. Since then we have disposed of Accrington and Barnet comfortably, with both sides challenging for the playoffs they are absolutely huge results which have boosted our confidence at home again. Whaddon Road is still very much the fortress it was earlier in the campaign. Inbetween these results was a 0-0 draw to Mansfield, which was a great result also with the Stags comfortably inside the playoffs. Below is an overview of the results:

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In other news, Scott Flinders has gone out on loan to Eastleigh in the National League. He has been enjoying his time there, currently keeping four clean sheets in 13 appearances and conceding twelve goals. Samni Odelusi has also gone out on loan to National League opposition, this time in ex-Football League side Hartlepool. He was unhappy with his lack of first-team football which he was never going to receive and therefore was loaned out. Playing just the two games, he has scored one goal but has only scored an average rating of 6.40, justifying why he is simply not good enough for this side.

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Disappointingly, Ilias was injured in the victory against Barnet and therefore due to the length of the injury, I begrudgingly terminated his loan. He has been a key part to our success I feel this season and with just Jordan Cranston being our only other option, I was forced to find a replacement for the Greek youngster. I was quiet in the window, not bringing in anyone other than Ilias' replacement as we simply didn't have the funds. I did chase ex-Pompey winger Milan Lalkovic, however he went to Ross County who offered bigger wages than I could have offered. Below is our only signing of the January window:

Matty Foulds

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Foulds was the best option I could find with such limited time in the window. I wouldn't call him a panic buy at all, as he is a very good player and someone who will fill the void left by Ilias well, however I could have done with more time to search for further options. The only issue I have with the Everton loanee is the lack of determination he has at just 4, this could perhaps be a potential problem but we will see as the season goes on. 

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The usual performers have been in fantastic form throughout the season (Eisa, Pell, Grant) however I haven't really appreciated Daniel James as much as I maybe should have. Brought in by myself in August on loan from Swansea, he has really picked up as the season has gone on, especially in the last two months. He works very well with Roberts and Eisa as an attacking front three, with the two wingers linking up often this season. The one thing I have loved about him is the fact he seems to know when to come inside and when to stay wide and this has contributed to several goals this season, whether he be the creator or the finisher. 

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We sit in the exact same position as we did last time I reported on how things were going with the Robins. We are definitely still in contention for those playoff places, we just need to find that consistency away from home which seems to be slowly coming with the improved performances. Crewe and Lincoln have both been brilliant this season and will most likely be going up this season. Luckily for us some of the form of the teams around us has dropped, with Swindon really struggling at present and Mansfield also doing quite poor. Down at the bottom, Wycombe are having a nightmare season and have remained in the bottom two since December, sitting 22nd at best since late October. Mon the Robins!

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@Jogo Bonito excellent job mate, smashed the play offs and I am really keen to see how you do in the summer.
 

@Dan McCullough Good going so far mate, hopefully a strong final third or so to the season will see you get in to that top 6.

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13 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

 

@Dan McCullough Good going so far mate, hopefully a strong final third or so to the season will see you get in to that top 6.

Top seven in League Two mate, top three automatic and 4th-7th in the playoffs. :) 

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@Dan McCullough Good to see that you're still hanging in there. At a club like Cheltenham it's always going to be difficult to get consistency, so you're doing well. Nice to see James becoming more important, he did well for me in FM17 (at Doncaster alongside Grant). Best of luck going forward.

@smplfc123 Thanks, I'll let you know how that goes with Fulham. Keep up the good work with Wednesday.

 

Oh yeah, I was asked by somebody to show my tactics at Fulham so here it is. Nothing special really and occasionally it had a different player or role, but this was the usual approach home and away.

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Ian McLoughlin got injured in game, my backup keeper was also injured and I was unable to recall Scott Flinders as it was match day... so up stepped Lewis Clayton. Thank **** we scored late on, huge huge win!

Edit: McLoughlin is out for two months. :( 

Edited by Dan McCullough

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Thankfully we have found a keeper for the remainder of the season. Not the best but David Cornell should do a job for the ten games we have left this season.

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An unbeaten couple of months have seen us push ourselves into the playoffs and now it's all about making sure we stay within that top seven. The automatic places are definitely not out of the equation, however the aim at the moment is just to ensure a playoff place is claimed. Our final two games of the season are against Coventry and Crewe, those could be huge. Mon the Robins!

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@Dan McCullough Excellent stuff Dan, the new 'keeper has obviously inspired the team! Whatever happens now, you must be really pleased with your first season there. Best of luck for the last six (or more) games.

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@Dan McCullough Good luck with that final run in mate.

I'm half way through pre-season at the moment, will do a proper update at the end of the window so that I can also include the start to the season.

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4 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

@Dan McCullough Good luck with that final run in mate.

I'm half way through pre-season at the moment, will do a proper update at the end of the window so that I can also include the start to the season.

Nice one, looking forward to it.

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Matchday 45 Results

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Table

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Final day fixtures:

COVENTRY vs Morecambe

CREWE vs CHELTENHAM

The pressure is too much. :lol:

 

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Congratulations @Dan McCullough what a nail-biter that must have been. A welcome but unexpected promotion, I'm sure. Amazed to see only two points separating all those teams below you too.  

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As promised (threatened?) I have returned to the ABAX Statium to take the reins at Peterborough. Rather than reload my old save, I thought I'd start from scratch with the latest transfer update.

Squad and transfers

On first sight, the urgent need was for cover at both fullback positions, and with limited transfer and wage budget available it seemed sensible to look to the loan market. First choice was Joe Riley, from Manchester United, a player I know well and was confident could do the job. As a bonus, he's almost equally good at RB and LB positions. For dedicated cover at LB, I brought in Myles Kenlock from Ipswich. Both have a happy knack of delivering raking diagonal balls to the back of the penalty area, which has led to a few goals so far.

With a bunch of natural wide players, my original plan was to play a 442, but with just two good strikers, and a couple of youngsters of questionable ability, I wasn't sure we had the personnel. Next choice was a 4411 and while we have several players capable of playing in the No 10 role, none looked a natural for the position. When I saw Callum Slattery from Southampton was available for loan, I jumped right in. He's perfect for the job, a big talent at League 1 level, and has six goals and four assists in 14 appearances. For rotation at the position, I first tried Marcus Maddison, one of the squad's star players who rates as 'accomplished' for the position, but he didn't deliver at all, and is far more effective as a left winger. Eventually I tried Mr Versatile, Da Silva-Lopes - and he has been brilliant.

Up front, star man Jack Marriott has 14 goals and five assists in 16 appearances. Omar Bogle, already on loan from Cardiff, looks the part and has chipped in with a few goals. Third-choice striker Junior Morias has been banging in the goals for the U23s, and with Bogle recovering from injury he'll get his first team chance in the upcoming FA Cup tie against Plymouth. Here's hoping he takes it!

In goal, Jonathon Bond is excellent at this level, and back-up Mallory has done well in a couple of cup games.

If there's a genuine weak spot in the team, it's in central defence. Ex-Newcastle veteran Steven Taylor is barely mobile (pace:6, agility:9) but he's a squad leader and paid a fortune, so not playing him isn't an option. The other three are generally reliable without ever being great but the lack of pace is a concern and we've been caught out a number of times because of that.

Early season form

We won our first four games of the season and looked solid, but were unlucky to draw Crystal Palace away in the first round of the League Cup, succumbing to a 2-1 loss, and the knock in confidence saw us lose the next league game 1-0 to local rivals Northampton. I feared the worst, but we then took off on a run of nine games unbeaten, with just a single draw away to Walsall. That run, including a 3-0 victory over league leaders Wigan, propelled us to the top of the division. Sadly, we couldn't maintain that form and October saw us drop seven points and fall to third place as Wigan resumed their supremacy.

It's no coincidence that the slight slump comes with a drop-off in form for both Marriott and Maddison - if they can pick up again, I'm sure the team will, too.

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@warlock Welcome back to the ABAX, I enjoyed reading that as a fellow Posh manager. I think I'm going to move that forward now, before I get stuck in to reviving Reading or establishing Fulham in the top flight. That's interesting you went to 4411. I also didn't get much out of Maddison in the number 10 role so have been playing a lop-sided 442 with Maddison as an advanced left winger and Edwards as a more orthodox right midfield winger with support duties.

With the full-back positions weak, I'd hoped to use Leo and Edwards as attacking full-backs, but they need a bit of re-training to really deliver from the deeper positions. Using them as wing-backs is another plan I have. With the strength available in central midfield, and an explosive strike pairing of Marriott and Mendes (on loan from Reading), this might be how I end up. I've also signed young Ben Wilmot from Stevenage (reading today he is likely off to a PL or Championship team) as he has great potential and fulfils the young Irish philosophy that Darragh likes.

Best of luck, I will be watching with interest! 

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It's been a very busy Summer as we get ready for League One football at Cheltenham. I'll get a post up when I can, most likely Sunday evening as I'll be going to Wigan vs MK Dons and other things tomorrow. 

@warlock: A really good start with Posh, they have some brilliant players in Da Silva-Lopes, Marriot and Maddison (although he really needs to stop diving!) ;). Poor Southend, well... maybe not, they signed Marc-Antoine Fortune, they deserve all the pain they can get just for that. :lol: Good luck with the rest of the season, looking forward to reading about it in your next post. Got to say I'm loving the activity in the thread at the moment, keep it up all!

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20 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

have been playing a lop-sided 442 with Maddison as an advanced left winger and Edwards as a more orthodox right midfield winger

Great minds! That's exactly how I've ended up, with Leo offset to the right behind the striker.

8 minutes ago, Dan McCullough said:

Got to say I'm loving the activity in the thread at the moment, keep it up all!

Yes, it's a top thread right now.

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I am (perhaps) facing a crossroad in my Bristol City game. I started with them because I wanted to build a team. 2-4 seasons in the Championship and then PL. But I am already in promotion contention in my first season, which is kinda killing the game for me. I've had loads of fun, but promotion, if it comes, will come too soon.

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Congratulations on your promotions @Jogo Bonito and @Dan McCullough, great stuff! And good luck at Peterborough @warlock, I had a great time there last year, nice club with some good players.

I decided to take a break from my Lincoln save and get back to a save I had set up earlier, this time in the championship. Will soon be at midway through the first season, I'll post an update later today either before or after the Manchester derby.

59 minutes ago, Mr_Demus said:

I am (perhaps) facing a crossroad in my Bristol City game. I started with them because I wanted to build a team. 2-4 seasons in the Championship and then PL. But I am already in promotion contention in my first season, which is kinda killing the game for me. I've had loads of fun, but promotion, if it comes, will come too soon.

I'm not sure there is such a thing as getting promoted too soon when it comes to the premier league, especially if you were prepared to spend up to four seasons in the championship. I mean you get 100+ million for it, even if you go straight back down again.

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19 minutes ago, kozmik said:

I decided to take a break from my Lincoln save and get back to a save I had set up earlier, this time in the championship

Teaser! Looking forward to seeing your progress.

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61hTQFY6wfL._SY355_.jpg

ASTON VILLA

MID-SEASON UPDATE

It has been a decent first half of the season. Sitting top of the table despite a few frustrating defeats.

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The Squad

 

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I have a week left until the January window is over and I am unsure if I should try and bring a few more faces in just in case of injuries. In an ideal world, I would bring in another striker and offload one of Kodjia or Hogan. Opinions?

Transfers

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Let's just say that update won't be coming after all.

My signings weren't working, or maybe hadn't settled in yet. I think I made too many changes if i'm honest, players and tactics wise and arguments with the board about my position lead to this:

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This was my first save on FM18 and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I'm excited to see what my next save will be.

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40 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

This was my first save on FM18 and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I'm excited to see what my next save will be.

I'm sure it's happened to us all. Onwards and upwards!

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2 hours ago, kozmik said:

 

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Interesting. As it happens, I'm having lunch tomorrow with a former member of Barnsley's youth academy (1970s - were they called 'academies' then?). Hope you can do better than they're managing this season.

 

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5 hours ago, Mr_Demus said:

I am (perhaps) facing a crossroad in my Bristol City game. I started with them because I wanted to build a team. 2-4 seasons in the Championship and then PL. But I am already in promotion contention in my first season, which is kinda killing the game for me. I've had loads of fun, but promotion, if it comes, will come too soon.

That's virtually where I am at with Fulham too. One of the most enjoyable jobs I have had in FM for ages, but not sure if continuing in the PL will float my boat. I gave extended contracts to certain players last season, with 30% promotion increase clauses, and now five or six of them are moaning about new mega-contracts even before pre-season starts.

@warlock Best of luck with The Posh.

@kozmik Good luck at Barnsley. Is this starting in season 17/18? Tough job there...

@avillafan.com You don't need good luck messages from me! I really like Kodjia from his days in France, then at Bristol City (they signed him after my club bottled it, I was gutted), and so I always hope he does well at Villa. I can't suggest you sell even if he's not really doing it for you. I also like Hogan, although I'm not sure he is quite of the standard to be a major player at Villa (certainly not once you're in the PL). Injuries might have held him back a bit too, he was on a great run of form at Brentford before and after his injury lay-off, another one at your club might just have halted that momentum for good - although I hope not.

@smplfc123 Ah, that's disappointing. As everyone else has said, I thought you did a decent job there, but your board were always a bit twitchy and being 15th just gave them the reason to fire you. Best of luck in your next adventure, whether you pick up from that point or start over from the beginning somewhere else.

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I'm absolutely gutted.

I went and turned off my stream after the first half of the derby, we were a complete and utter shambles and I didn't want to watch that horrid excuse of a football club celebrate the title. Then I suddenly noticed it was 2-2, so started frantically digging for a stream again and found one. Then the winner came as I left the computer for two minutes. Well, at least we won. :)

Anyway, Barnsley. I did indeed start from the first season with the 18.3 database. I had already made transfers and played through most of the pre-season earlier, so I got into action very quickly and have played half of the first season so far.

Even though the squad is really lacking in terms of overall quality, I picked them for two reasons. First, I found the squad was very well balanced, not completely overloaded or badly short at any position (apart from having 3 first team level right backs), and a very good fit for the system I like to play. Second, Christoph Knasmullner. As near a perfect fit for the AML role I use in my tactic as one could hope for at this level.

Obviously, the first glaring issue, aside from the fact that half of the squad are complete crocks, is that there's a very distinct lack of pace everywhere around the pitch, particularly in the CB area which is bad news for me. In attack the fastest we have is Lloyd Isgrove with acc 15 and pace 14, which isn't a lot. That practically rules out any system relying on fast transitions or high pressing, as we can't outrun opposition defenders in attack or opposition attackers in defense. So I ended up playing mainly with a (kind of) possession-based 4123. There wasn't too much money available and with our rep there wasn't much chance of making any signings that would be useful in the long term, even beyond the first season, so I only loaned a couple DM/CM's:

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I initially went for Scott McTominay, he chose QPR, then went for Ronaldo Vieira, he chose Villa, so ended up with Sam Field, which was actually probably a very good thing as he's left footed and as such fits the tactic better. He's played 90 minutes in almost every game and been very good. Choudhury is more of a backup and has mainly been sitting on the bench.

Anyway, here's the formation and roles, exactly the same as I've been using with Lincoln, with a theoretical first XI selected. Theoretical, as the occasions when each of them players has been fit at the same time have been pretty few and far between:

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Usually using TI's higher tempo, play much wider, exploit flanks, retain possession, work ball into box, also a TI combination I've used with Lincoln recently. Looking at some of the stats, it's working like a charm:

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2nd highest average possession, highest amount of passes (by about 800 passes), best passing percentage. We also have the highest shots on target ratio in the league, which is pretty astonishing as that's the one thing I usually struggle with most.

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And here's the table halfway through the season:

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So no, it's not really a tough job, and it's pretty safe to say we're doing better than our real life equivalents. :D In all honesty, I definitely wasn't expecting us to be doing this well. I was confident we would steer clear of relegation, probably fairly comfortably too, but not quite THIS comfortably. But the main thing is the squad is such a perfect fit for my system. It's probably quite similar in terms of balance and quality to the side I had with Lincoln in our first championship season, where we finished 6th and lost in the playoff final to Norwich. The main differences being that there's a truckload of injury prone players and the back line is pretty slow.

I don't expect us to make the playoffs though, I'm already seeing opposition being more cautious against us which is causing some problems. Add in the fact that key players Pinillos at left back and Gardner in midfield (highest average rating in the league so far with 7,31) are ticking time bombs with their injury proneness so things could go pear shaped at any moment. If only I had the money to buy a left back with a great cross in him and a reliable towering striker to head them crosses in...

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@kozmik That's a very impressive start indeed! The formation is the one I used all season at Fulham, although player roles and TI's are very different. Good luck for the rest of the season.

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1 minute ago, Mr_Demus said:

So, yeah...this happened

 

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Well done! 

 

Every save I see posted Villa struggle. So strange or not seeing as who the manager is.

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@avillafan.com: Looking very good for you. Nice to see you have signed Ben Beningime, he was very good for me at Charlton. Personally, I think both Hogan and Kodija are brilliant strikers. If I had to say to offload one, I'd take into account how many goals they have scored per game (so goals to game ratio) and the value of the player. If I can get more for one player over the other and the ratio isn't much better, for example, I would get rid of that player as I would receive a better fee. That's my view anyway. :lol:

@smplfc123: At least I'm not the only one to get sacked on this thread then ;) Unlucky there, I'm looking forward to what save you'll do next - make sure to keep posting in here! 

@kozmik: You have done exceptionally well there with the Tykes. I do like Barnsley, they have good values in signing lower league talent and focusing mainly on domestic talent too. Nice to see you've got Sam Field in, another player who did well for me with Charlton! :p 

@Mr_Demus: Good luck in the Premier League. A fantastic season there, I would look to keep the spine of the team and look to make a couple of additions. Don't change a winning formula! 

 

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3 hours ago, Dan McCullough said:

 

@Mr_Demus: Good luck in the Premier League. A fantastic season there, I would look to keep the spine of the team and look to make a couple of additions. Don't change a winning formula! 

 

That is very much what I am trying to do. I have retained most of my first team squad, and I really only look to replace returned loan players.

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5aca8fb9eb9df_Peterboroughheader.thumb.jpg.b9afdb3dfcaa82804ab01ec4ef06c9e1.jpg

A quick update on my slow progress with Peterborough.

There are some good players here, but I've not been able to get a consistent formation or run of results.

After a few blips in the league last month, we have fought our way back in to fifth place, and just two points off the top.

This is largely down to Marriott & Mendes in attack, with 16 and 13 league goals respectively (and 37 between them in all competitions so far).

Mendes has also added 12 assists in all competitions (10 in the league), just ahead of Maddison & Edwards with 10 each.

Defensively we haven't been too good at all. But then mad Darragh wants attacking football, so probably doesn't care as much as I do about that.

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5aca8fd954e36_Progress1.3.thumb.png.7c9419c0209f5e3da7ddafd4b5cbacb5.png

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Hey guys, I am gonna join in the action over here as well :)

Been reading through the thread since yesterday, some really interesting saves going on. Love the level of detailing as well. 

I've recently tried a couple of saves with Newcastle & Everton but couldn't really get into it. So decided to go a level below...

So I started up the game on 1st Jan 2018, and looked through the table to see any interesting challenges that popped up. In the Championship, QPR, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest were all struggling in and around the relegation zone. I went through their squads, did some research on each, and I decided to take over at Nottingham Forest, currently in 21st place in the standings.

I found a few things quite appealing, first of course the club has a fairly incredible history and is one of the few English clubs to actually win top honours in Europe. Secondly we have a good stadium and a strong potential fan base to be tapped. Thirdly, I found that the squad while distinctly lacking quality overall, has some good young players with potential most of whom have come in through the youth system. The likes of Ben Osborn, Joe Worrall,  Matty Cash and Ben Bereton. Would like to try to develop these guys at the club and have a core of home-grown players. 

So I have just taken over and played 2 games so far, a creditable 1-1 away draw at table-topping Leeds, and a 1-0 solid home win in the FA cup against Millwall. I am in the process of selling Danny Fox, Jack Hobbs, and Vellios who all I see as surplus to requirements and on high wages. Also terminated the loan of Lee Tomlin (too slow and not hard working). 

Have made a bunch of loan offers, already got in Aron Johansson at just 5.25k a week from Bremen, he looks like a good well-rounded striker for this level. Looking to probably bring in another striker, winger and centre back if I sell off both Hobbs & Fox. 

This season will probably be about steadying the ship, maybe a little FA Cup run, and then hopefully target promotion next season back to the top division.

Shall update again soon at the end of the transfer window.

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@karanhsingh Welcome, nice intro there too. I agree with all your reasons for picking Forest, they do have a handful of good youngsters, a fine history, good stadium (and location), and fan base.It will be good to have that settling in period and then try to improve them next season. Good luck.

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Welcome @karanhsingh and good luck at Forest!

The second half of my Barnsley season has been panning out even worse than I expected, we've lost 7 out of last 10 league games and are 9th at the moment. Plenty of those matches have been against the better sides though, so I've not given up hope on reaching the playoffs just yet. We're only four points off 6th. But we need to turn our form around pretty quickly. 10 games left and only three of those are fairly certain non-wins (Hull, Leeds and Derby away) so it's by no means impossible.

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I'm being semi-inspired by @Jogo Bonito to take on a second save. Cheltenham is a very fun save which I have been enjoying thoroughly, but I feel like at times, I'm playing for the sake of playing. Creating a second save will allow me to rotate between them and is something I have done a few times in the past. I'll get a post up soon with the team. :thup:

Also, welcome to @karanhsingh! Forest are a team full of history and also have a tremendous youth academy to boot. Hopefully you can use this to your advantage and bring back the glory days to Nottingham. Good luck!

Edited by Dan McCullough

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Thanks for the warm welcome guys. Just beat Villa 1-0 at home with a stoppage time winner from Lolley while being down to 10 men! Which sees us climb up to... well 19th in the league

I also went a little overboard with the loans and I now have confirmations pending for -

Niasse (375k a month)

Okaka (275k a month)

Robson-Kanu (275k a month)

Leko (5.5k a month)

MacLeod (72k a month with option to buy)

Jordan Mutch (230k a month)

Baningime (4.3k a month)

Sam Field (35k a month)

Obviously don't need all of these guys... figuring which to confirm. Any ideas?

Cannot have more than 5 loan players in the squad too. 

I am thinking I could terminate Colback's loan and get in field or Baningime. And maybe Leko just for another pacy option on the flanks.

Niasse/ Okaka would be solid at this level I feel, but have got Johansson in already and want to give Brereton some playing time too. Plus its pretty expensive.

The second signing I already made was again from Germany, Ermin Bicakcic on loan from Hoffenheim for 3.4k a week. He's just the kind of CB I like, strong, pacy and a tough tackler. 

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44 minutes ago, kozmik said:

Welcome @karanhsingh and good luck at Forest!

The second half of my Barnsley season has been panning out even worse than I expected, we've lost 7 out of last 10 league games and are 9th at the moment. Plenty of those matches have been against the better sides though, so I've not given up hope on reaching the playoffs just yet. We're only four points off 6th. But we need to turn our form around pretty quickly. 10 games left and only three of those are fairly certain non-wins (Hull, Leeds and Derby away) so it's by no means impossible.

Good luck with my home team. 9th is very good first season even if it hasn't finished yet. I'm about to start one myself today so hoping to do well. What signings did you make, if any?

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1 hour ago, lewis999 said:

Good luck with my home team. 9th is very good first season even if it hasn't finished yet. I'm about to start one myself today so hoping to do well. What signings did you make, if any?

Thanks, good luck to you too! I think we can snatch a playoff place - we now have 6 games left and we're back in 5th. Lost to Hull 1-0 but then comfortably beat Millwall and Bristol at home and Forest away without conceding a single goal. Even a top 2 finish is still technically within reach, as we're only 5 points behind Middlesbrough in 2nd. Won't happen though, not with trips to Leeds and Derby still remaining.

I signed Sam Field and Hamza Choudhury in the summer, both on loan. Field has been a starter and has done well, Choudhury has done his job when needed. In January I signed Lys Mousset, also on loan. Wasn't really planning on signing anyone, but Thiam, who had been my 2nd choice striker got a cruciate injury so I had to. Mousset has done very well. Has had a few poor games but has 12 goals and 3 assists in 15 games.

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Burton Albion - Season One - Introduction

5acb9f3125860_BurtonAlbion_Profile.thumb.png.120df016566251fb7df048f2ffb20fa6.png

I have decided to start a second save alongside my one with Cheltenham Town with Championship side Burton Albion. I was attracted to Burton for the huge challenge they have, a very low budget with a huge lack of resources and a side, that are quite frankly, punching above their weight. Their fairytale story is one that I very much admire and I was pleased to see them survive to play a second season in the Championship last season. Whether this save be one I play for a while or just for a season or so, I'm not too sure as it depends on how I feel with it, however the aim for the time being is to keep the Brewers in the second tier at the end of the current season.

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The squad I have to work with is far below the standards of the others sides in the division. Annoyingly, club record signing Liam Boyce will miss the majority of the season with injury and so will loanee Darren Bent, meaning we are without two fantastic options up front. I will be relying on ex-Derby keeper Stephen Bywater to do a job for me in-between the sticks if I want to preserve the clubs status in the Championship also this season. With no real standout talents, it'll be a hard ask for us to get the job done, however we'll certainly have a good go at it.

I have a low budget to work with, just £300,000 with a wage budget of £4,000 p/w. Therefore I will be looking to use the loan and free market to my advantage, something I think I have done effectively in my Cheltenham save. 

---

UP THE BREWERS

Edited by Dan McCullough

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1 minute ago, Dan McCullough said:

I was attracted to Burton for the huge challenge

I think you're a good judge! But here's hoping you can keep building.

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