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Jogo Bonito

FM18: The English Football League Thread - EFL in FM18

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Change of heart with the new save. I decided I'd look more in-depth at the teams with something putting me off my original plans. Currently trying to choose between Wimbledon and Gillingham, I hate being so indecisive. :ackter:

Edited by Dan McCullough

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4 hours ago, False 9 said:

@Jogo Bonito what database setup do you use? Thanks

I have every player of UK & Irish nationality, every player of African nationality, and every player from top division clubs in all other continents (large database option). It's something like 117,000 players. I load English leagues only, down to National North & South.

@Dan McCullough Choosing a club takes me forever. I've managed both of those teams in the past, although Gillingham was some years ago. AFC Wimbledon in the last few versions has been very enjoyable with the new stadium on the horizon.

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A quick mid-season update... Cautiously optimistic at this point.

8oRreVD.png

We had a good little run earlier with 4 games without defeats (2w, 2d) and were 3-1 up at Leicester at 70 minutes only to lose 4-3, after that had a poor spell but then proceeded to beat Wolves and Spurs away 2-1. Need to keep on picking up points, but we definitely have a decent chance to stay up.

In terms of transfers, I terminated Omeruo's loan as he still had a couple of months left in his recovery from the broken leg, loaned Carter-Vickers from Spurs as a replacement. Backup keeper Davies looks to be on his way out, have already lined up a loan replacement for him, just waiting for Davies to actually leave before going through with the loan. Left back Smith is away in the Asian nations cup with Australia, probably until February, so I'm considering loaning someone as cover. At the moment Pinillos is playing, and playing pretty well, but he's injury prone and the next left back in line is rated at three silver stars so I'll be in massive trouble if Pinillos gets injured.

Got this too:

0BSg2wV.png

So the easy brexit again. Would be interesting to get the hard brexit scenario sometime.

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We are staying up! :D

Gameweek 35:

aBWjAvl.png?1

Final table:

yJCI9hS.png?1

Well, final apart from a match between Brighton and Spurs, which has been posponed for some reason. The situation there is actually pretty interesting. As you can see, West Brom and Brighton are on equal points, while Brighton's goal difference is 2 better. What makes things interesting is that they've scored exactly the same amount of goals. So if Brighton should lose to Spurs 2-0, they'll be on the same points, same GD and same GF. We might see a relegation playoff! (If such a thing exists in the game)

Anyway, as it turned out I ended up using my main tactic from last season quite a lot. I think I got most of my wins by using that system. So I think I'll bank on that working again next season and build the side for that. Will just have to decide whether to go with the left footed wingers or right footed wingers version.

Here are my January deals:

cJ29pH8.png?1

Had to take the Isgrove deal as he was pretty much useless in the little game time I gave him, but had to replace him too as I didn't want to rely on Coco being fit and firing. I might retrain his replacement Berenguer as a right back next season (he's already competent there), depending on how I end up setting up the side. If I switch to a version with the playmaker on the right, rather than left, then Berenguer should work pretty well as an overlapping FB/A behind the playmaker. We'll see.

I've been given a huge budget for next season:

zWBbk2l.png

Now I just have to hope that I can actually find players who are willing to join AND would improve the side. :lol: I have a feeling it might not be too easy...

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Well done! and that's a crazy budget for next season! Your reputation should have hopefully got a bit of a bump so hopefully can get some good players in. Maybe pinch a couple off WBA and Watford as well. 

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@karanhsingh @RageMaster Thanks! I'm definitely keeping an eye on the relegated teams. I'd love Doucoure from Watford, but that's probably pushing it too far. Will Hughes would be good too, same with Oliver Burke from West Brom if I end up going with right footed wingers. Although I'm tempted to go with left footed wingers. I've got a buy option for Cartabia, he could make a very good playmaker on the right. Ricardo Kishna is transfer listed at Lazio, he looks pretty useful too.

I have a feeling that this pre-season will take ages again...

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So guys, I ended up starting a new game and chose AFC Wimbledon. I am keen on a long-term project where I can really (hopefully) develop the club and gradually take them forward. The history (albeit brief) of AFC Wimbledon, how they came to be, the ownership by fans, etc. really appealed to me. Also they are due to move into a new stadium by the summer of 2019 which will accommodate 10k+ (may not seem very big but that's more than double the current stadium cap!). Besides, they are sponsored by Football Manager and I get to play the annual FM cup vs Watford!

I didn't make too many changes to the team in the first season, not like I had the funds anyway. Just brought in a couple of squad players on loan - Hamza Chaudhary, Ro-Shawn Williams. However the best performers were those already at the club. We had a mediocre start, the intricate 4-2-3-1 I was trying to play with inverted wingers wasn't quite doing the trick. I switched to a more direct 4-3-3 around halfway and that completely turned things around for us. We rose up the table and while I was targeting 2nd spot and automatic promotion, we actually somehow ended up winning the league.

League table - https://imgur.com/a/wTuAO 

Player stats - https://imgur.com/a/l6HXW 

The best performers were  Appiah, Taylor and McDonald up front, as well as both the full-backs, and Soares / Abdou were rocks in midfield.

Nothing to write home about in the cups, we put together a decent run in the FA Cup before losing 3-2 away against Southampton in the 5th round. 

I am currently in the following summer, preparing for life in the Championship. I think it is going to be a lot tougher than I had thought. Essentially because nobody of any quality wants to join us, even on loan, and I have a tiny wage budget. The board has given me 3 million to spend  (decent) but total wage budget of only 60k per week with a max of 3.5k I can offer any player.  Also I ended up having to renew contracts with a number of players in my first  team who have all been bumped up to 3k levels after promotion. 

I thought of using my 5 loan slots well but players are just rejecting me left right and centre, even the likes of Jonathan Leko! I managed to get Woodman from Newcastle who looks a solid GK for this level, and got Chaudhary back from Leicester after Baningime rejected us. Honestly struggling to get any sort of quality in...

On the upside, I have hired a good bunch of coaches, I have persuaded the board to upgrade both our training & youth facilities, and also to invest in better coaching licenses for myself and most of our staff. So I am on my way to a pro license in a few months time. 

If anyone has any ideas on which players I can target for life in the Championship, do let me know! I am looking at 2 new full-backs (preferably pacy), one new centre half, one defensive midfielder, one inside forward and one more striker. 

PS - also can someone help me with embedding screenshots into the post body? 

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@karanhsingh You can copy & paste the BBCCode link that imgur provides. Once you've uploaded the pic, hover the pointer over the image, go to the down arrow that appears and select "get share links".

And congrats on your league win, great job!

Edited by kozmik

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For my latest save - so many saves, so little time - I decided I had unfinished business at Wolves. Way up near the top of this thread I documented my earlier Wolves save, winning the championship and establishing them in the Premiership, but I was lured away by other challenges. So getting them promoted should not be difficult, but the goal is to establish them as a force in Europe. I've already played the first couple of months of the season and will post a proper update when we get to Christmas.

@karanhsingh In Imgur when you select an image it should pop-up a window like this:

8VyG0Ss.png?2

If you click the highlighted button, it copies the appropriate link to your clipboard, which you can then just paste into your post.

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I am going to attempt to jump on the bandwagon and try a save out in the EFL!....once again.

I've had a save with Derby on this version of FM which I won the division the first time of asking but I screwed up my transfer business and also found it difficult to sell players and the enjoyment just declined.

Going to give Nottingham Forest a try this time around. If that fails I might give Wolves a try also @warlock

 

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2 minutes ago, RageMaster said:

Going to give Nottingham Forest a try this time around. If that fails I might give Wolves a try

Yup, lots of good teams in the Championship. As for post-promotion transfers it's probably the most difficult part of moving up a division. For me, it's probably best not to make too many changes - there often isn't a lot of difference between the top of one division and the bottom of the next one up. You have to think in terms of one season of consolidation - avoid relegation at all costs (as @kozmik will no doubt testify!)

As for selling players, that's a tough business. If you wait for the start of the next season many will already have had a promotion pay rise, making them harder to shift. And once they're in the higher division they often don't want to drop back down again. Loan deals to get their wages off the books are often the best you can do.

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Been reading this thread the last week and its got me in the mood for a new save. Not sure whether to start in League One or Two, thinking of either going Bristol Rovers, Scunthorpe or Fleetwood from League One or else Accrington, Grimsby or Stevenage from League Two. Not really sure who i want to start so open to other suggestions aswell

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Well done on survival @kozmik you've certainly done an exceptional job since joining at Oakwell. I sometimes hate having a huge budget because it's so easy to throw it down the drain and then realise you've made some poor decisions. Hopefully you'll improve the squad more so than hinder it, as I know I would probably do the latter. :lol: How did some of your Summer signings get on, a number interested me like I said (Coco, Samper, Cornelius etc.) Good luck with the Summer and next season.

A good team choice in Wimbledon @karanhsingh. Again, an exceptional season from yourself and to now be ahead of MK Dons ahead is brilliant, although it wouldn't surprise me if Pete Winkelman tried to buy the new Wimbledon for another stab at the Championship and rename it to MK Dons! Because it is such a 'new' club, the reputation issue will be a problem - so you'll probably be able to attract players you weren't able to last season now you're in the Championship whilst you struggle to get the new targets you look for like Leko. :D Good luck with the Dons, I do like the club so it's nice to see you doing well.

@RageMaster Controversial! Jumping from Derby to their biggest rivals, are you Brian Clough in disguise? Good luck.

2 hours ago, fraz86 said:

Been reading this thread the last week and its got me in the mood for a new save. Not sure whether to start in League One or Two, thinking of either going Bristol Rovers, Scunthorpe or Fleetwood from League One or else Accrington, Grimsby or Stevenage from League Two. Not really sure who i want to start so open to other suggestions aswell

I would recommend Fleetwood, they have a lot of talent in the likes of Paddy Madden and Kyle Dempsey, the latter is very young and is far too good for League One. Scunthorpe would be a good save also, but they have Ivan Toney so, maybe not. :lol:

Accrington have done very well with Coleman, whereas Grimsby are at the opposite end of the scale so Grimsby would be quite a good challenge to do. Stevenage are a quite overlooked team, but they have Ben Kennedy who is a huge talent and always seems to attract interest from PL clubs.

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Wolves: First half of the season

9M2MIhLh.png

So things have got off to a very good start (as you might expect). 'Tis Christmas Eve and Wolves sit atop the division with a 10-point lead. And the obvious stars are shining... Diogo Jota struggled through the first few matches and failed to find the net until October but now leads the scoring charts. Cavaleiro has been outstanding, and Helder Costa is starting to perform having missed the start of the season through injury. We made it to the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup, including a win against Man City at their's, who no doubt regret sending out a team of youngsters to fall to a 1-2 defeat. Unfortunately, we couldn't repeat that performance at Chelsea who played pretty much a full-strength team and we went out to a single deflected goal.

That match also brought the biggest blow of the season when GK John Ruddy suffered a broken arm and will be out for a minimum of two months. Backup 'keeper Will Norris was already out with a broken finger so we're relying on 20-year-old Harry Burgoyne, who has done well so far.

Tactics and transfers

In my previous Wolves save I played a deep-lying 433 to great effect, but having had success with @Cleon's 4231dm in other saves, the Wolves squad looked a near-perfect fit for that. Wolves start with Enobakhare who can play the AMC role, and I brought in Callum Slattery on loan from Southampton for rotation duty and both have performed very well. The only other transfer was much-needed backup and rotation at RB and £3.6m secured the services of Ryan Fredericks from Fulham.

The tactic has performed both home and away and apart from a couple of poor results at the end of October, we've put together two lengthy sequences without defeat in the league.

2T89Wfo.png?1

Edited by warlock

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2 hours ago, warlock said:

For me, it's probably best not to make too many changes - there often isn't a lot of difference between the top of one division and the bottom of the next one up. You have to think in terms of one season of consolidation - avoid relegation at all costs (as @kozmik will no doubt testify!)

I agree if we're talking about league 2 -> league 1 -> championship. But unless you play with one of the very top teams in championship - Wolves in particular as they have a fantastic squad - I'm not sure that's true when you're promoted to the premier league. I signed 17 players last season, 12 of them played 20+ games over the season, most played 30+. With the original squad we'd have been nowhere near survival.

@Dan McCullough Thanks. When I get to this stage I often spend several days in the off season, just looking through players that are available and weighing up different options. For example, I'm yet to press continue beyond the end season team meet and pre-season start date selection. :lol: This summer might be a bit more straightforward once I decide whether I'll go with the left footed wingers or right footed wingers version of the tactic I'm going to use. I have players that fit either, and whichever I pick I'll end up with players that won't fit, so I'll have to get rid. But it's a difficult decision to make. There are interesting players available for either system.

As for the players I signed last summer. Samper was a key player throughout the season, starting 37 league games. Had a few poor games particularly when we got hammered, but finished the season with 6,96 average rating, which is very good for a dm/cm in a side that finished 15th. Coco was decent, not many goals or assists (4+3 in 20(16) apps) but did his job. Cornelius likewise, 6+2 in 12(15). I was probably most impressed with Gumbau, who was a proper bargain basement signing (650k fee), average rating 6,94 and currently valued at 6,75 million. So in short, a definite recommendation for both Samper and Gumbau, and Coco and Cornelius can do a job at premier league level, but probably won't shine.

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1 minute ago, kozmik said:

I'm not sure that's true when you're promoted to the premier league

Well, that's your own fault for massively over-achieving :D. But, yes, for a lot of Championship clubs it will be a giant step.

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Wow, so many new posts since I last checked in! Well done to all on your various successes, and those taking on new clubs welcome too. I won't comment on each post but have enjoyed reading all the updates. Wolves must be a very enjoyable team to manage with all that attacking ability and no glowing weaknesses, plus the massive support (financial and otherwise) and infrastructure. I have a soft spot for AFC Wimbledon, having managed them on most recent versions. I think I only ever got them promoted once to the Championship though, and that was in a third season. Congrats to our manager at Barnsley on a fantastic survival too.

@fraz86 Good luck with whoever you pick. I like Bristol Rovers and Scunthorpe, but if starting in League 2 then I think Stevenage are a really good option. Apart from Kennedy, there are lots of good young players there. Wilmot is the jewel in the crown now.

 

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Coming soon...

927ad316ed2ff4a7681e481bf297b1b1.jpg.7dfe0f4a2064aa0baa91b125ecd58fbc.jpg

I've been brave and endured the slow pre-season slog with Fulham.

I was happy with most of my promotion-winning squad, but wanted to strengthen the spine - from goalkeeper through to striker.

I've smashed the club transfer record twice this summer, first spending £15.75 million on my first choice striker (a ridiculous wage of £50k per week).

 Then I spent £16m on a goalkeeper who walks straight in to my first team (allowing me to sell one of my .original pair).

Both of these record signings were English players who have been Premier League regulars at other clubs.

I just missed out on my preferred centre-back options, but have signed one Englishman that I'm reasonably happy with for £4.2m.

I've added a third choice goalkeeper and another option at left-back (now trying to sell one of my pair from last season) for a combined £1m.

I've also added two free transfers - one 18 year old striker who won't get a WP for years, and one experienced ex-Premier League midfielder who was unattached.

The transfer business so far has seen £37m spent and £9.5m recouped.

The current squad size is 24, but hopefully there are a couple of those I can move on.

If that works to plan, I will get a few more in that are more suitable for top-flight football.

I've been very strong in my limitation of loan players, the only two in the squad were also with me last year (combined wages of £1.6k per week).

Pre-season has gone well, and we are almost ready for the Premier League season.

Before that, our Carabao Cup win sees us play NK Domzale of Slovenia in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Europa League.

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Good to see you have a go in the premier league @Jogo Bonito! And good luck in the Europa qualifiers too. NK Domzale sounds easy enough, hopefully you can avoid some of the tougher draws in the final playoff round.

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Jogo Bonito can you recommend me a few teams in the English lower leagues please and the reasons why, maybe a team nobody has managed in this thread yet would be good.

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21 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

can you recommend me a few teams in the English lower leagues please and the reasons why

If you check out the first page of this thread JB did a complete run down of the Football League clubs. Might answer your question before @Jogo Bonito checks in.

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Yeah I already looked and just can't decide.

The teams I was thinking of were Bristol City, Brentford, Ipswich, Birmingham, Preston, Sheff Weds, QPR, Hull for Championship teams.

Scunthorpe, Gillingham, Oxford United, Walsall, AFC Wimbeldon, Plymouth or Peterborough for League 1 teams.

Wycombe, Exeter, Colchester, Cambridge, Stevenage, Yeovil, Port Vale, Forrest Green or Chesterfield for League 2 teams.

I just can't decide who to try.

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1 hour ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

The teams I was thinking of were...

That's a lot of prospects! Wycombe, Cambridge and Brentford are on my list of future saves, and I've done Peterboro, which was a great save. Plymouth will be a tough challenge (there's a lengthy thread in the tactics forum), and I know that Ipswich, Birmingham, AFC Wimbledon, Port Vale and Forrest Green have been done by others, either in this thread or elsewhere. I think Sheffield Weds would be a good choice - they're currently flying in second place in my Wolves save - with a good stadium and plenty of room to grow. If you expect to stay with a save for a few seasons the chance to grow your support is not to be underestimated, I think. For that reason Notts County is another on my own list.

If you have a preferred formation/tactic it can also be worthwhile to look over the squads - some teams are set up to play a certain way from the start.

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3 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Yeah I already looked and just can't decide.

The teams I was thinking of were Bristol City, Brentford, Ipswich, Birmingham, Preston, Sheff Weds, QPR, Hull for Championship teams.

Scunthorpe, Gillingham, Oxford United, Walsall, AFC Wimbeldon, Plymouth or Peterborough for League 1 teams.

Wycombe, Exeter, Colchester, Cambridge, Stevenage, Yeovil, Port Vale, Forrest Green or Chesterfield for League 2 teams.

I just can't decide who to try.

Everyone will be different but personally speaking I find it hard managing in League 1 & 2 in terms of keeping interested in the save, I guess it's due to me not knowing alot about the players and the quality being low however moving on...Birmingham have a decent squad to start with and with the right additions to the squad you can definetly be challenging for promotion, you have decent staff, facilities etc here also.

I had fun saves with Ipswich and Sheff Wed in FM17, I haven't had a go with either on this version though. Hull looks a decent squad but some high wages on certain players so can be hard to shift them on. Preston could be a fun save and I think they start with a decent budget too.

Away from your question, I have sadly given up on the Notts Forest save for now, I lost interest in it unfortunately after 3 games of pre-season. Not sure what my next save will be but will most likely have a play next weekend now. On a side note, does anyone know of any decent strikers to buy for the Championship first season? I've had good success with Dom Solanke on loan in a couple of games but usually I have to wait to January in the first season to get him.

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16 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Coming soon...

927ad316ed2ff4a7681e481bf297b1b1.jpg.7dfe0f4a2064aa0baa91b125ecd58fbc.jpg

I've been brave and endured the slow pre-season slog with Fulham.

I was happy with most of my promotion-winning squad, but wanted to strengthen the spine - from goalkeeper through to striker.

I've smashed the club transfer record twice this summer, first spending £15.75 million on my first choice striker (a ridiculous wage of £50k per week).

 Then I spent £16m on a goalkeeper who walks straight in to my first team (allowing me to sell one of my .original pair).

Both of these record signings were English players who have been Premier League regulars at other clubs.

I just missed out on my preferred centre-back options, but have signed one Englishman that I'm reasonably happy with for £4.2m.

I've added a third choice goalkeeper and another option at left-back (now trying to sell one of my pair from last season) for a combined £1m.

I've also added two free transfers - one 18 year old striker who won't get a WP for years, and one experienced ex-Premier League midfielder who was unattached.

The transfer business so far has seen £37m spent and £9.5m recouped.

The current squad size is 24, but hopefully there are a couple of those I can move on.

If that works to plan, I will get a few more in that are more suitable for top-flight football.

I've been very strong in my limitation of loan players, the only two in the squad were also with me last year (combined wages of £1.6k per week).

Pre-season has gone well, and we are almost ready for the Premier League season.

Before that, our Carabao Cup win sees us play NK Domzale of Slovenia in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Europa League.

 

Hurry up mate the suspense is killing me :eek:

@RageMaster and @Ronaldo Beckham I am also in between clubs having had a good first crack at FM18 with Sheff Wed. I'm thinking Championship with not so great expectations. Birmingham, Preston, Reading, Sheff Utd and Sunderland are all under consideration.

Anyone recommend any of them in particular? 

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I am really swaying towards Hull as I like a challenge and they have a small squad with high expectations and I would enjoy trying to shift the high earners out and get hungry young British players from the lower leagues.

 

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4 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Yeah I already looked and just can't decide.

The teams I was thinking of were Bristol City, Brentford, Ipswich, Birmingham, Preston, Sheff Weds, QPR, Hull for Championship teams.

Scunthorpe, Gillingham, Oxford United, Walsall, AFC Wimbeldon, Plymouth or Peterborough for League 1 teams.

Wycombe, Exeter, Colchester, Cambridge, Stevenage, Yeovil, Port Vale, Forrest Green or Chesterfield for League 2 teams.

I just can't decide who to try.

it depends what you want. Easy or hard? Short or long? League preferences? I can make cases for most of them but it's your own criteria that would help identify the best type of clubs for you.

@smplfc123 Thanks. You're interested to hear about my signings and/or progress at Fulham?

As for your new pick, Reading and Sunderland have some similarities. Both have potential to be much better but have players who don't perform and are on high wages so will be hard to shift. Reading aren't as big as Sunderland so your reputation may work better there, and they do have a very good youth and Academy system with youngsters always looking to break through. I'm underway with them in League 1 after their first season relegation in my Fulham game, so maybe we can push each other along? The Blades are similar to your last club, good infrastructure, history, stadium, fan base etc. The Saudi Royal family are still involved there too, which makes it interesting. I may even be able to suggest some Saudi or other Middle East players for you if you ask nicely haha. The main plus would be David Brooks of course, but how will your old fans at Wednesday feel about you crossing the steel city? Birmingham are another underachieving team, and they have Jota who I always wanted to manage myself. Preston might suit your reputation better, a good club with a nice history who recruit well with cast-offs and players from lower leagues and Ireland. Probably a bit less pressure there and would be my suggestion out of these options.

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1 minute ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I have gone with Hull in the end.

I will do a small update later on tonight.

Anyone else managed Hull and any advice please.

Good luck with Hull :)

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Good luck with Hull @Ronaldo Beckham

@Jogo Bonito I really want to see who the signings are!! Thanks for the tips on who to go out of the ones i've suggested. I'm flicking between the clubs now and i've decided to also throw Barnsley in to the maybe pile. Hopefully i'll have a decision by the end of the night.

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First major decision for Hull was to sell my prized asset in Kamil Grosicki to Leicester for 15m.

I need to bring in a fair few players to bolster the squad so I had to get funds in.

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1 hour ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

First major decision for Hull was to sell my prized asset in Kamil Grosicki to Leicester for 15m.

I need to bring in a fair few players to bolster the squad so I had to get funds in.

You should be able to nab Diabate from them on loan in exchange, is usually very productive :brock:

@smplfc123 I had a feeling my transfer teasers had intrigued you. Any guesses on my new keeper or striker? I'll update when I reach the end of August as I can probably do a review of my Europa League campaign by then too!!!

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HULL UPDATE

I am currently 7th in the league after 18 league games played, I have won 9, drawn 4 and lost 5.

My stand out players are Hull legend Frazier Campbell who was at the club when I joined (due to recent date update I downloaded). He has banged in 9 goals so far for me, including a hattrick in a recent 4-1 victory over Millwall. Campbell has been playing very well in my 4-5-1 formation as a targetman.

Josh Clarke has been my best average rating with a rating of 7.32, he has been playing either as a full back on the right side or on the right wing and been very good for me.

Andreas Linde has been a very solid goalie for me, only conceding 12 in 13 games and having 7 clean sheets.

Other players worth mentioning are Jarrod Bowen, Adam Hlousek and Ondrej Mazuch.

I started with a small squad due to a lot of injuries but now I am noticing players coming back I forgot was even at Hull like David Marshall, Kevin Stewart, Will Keane etc, might be able to sell a few of them in January.

I will try keep you updated as I go along.

 

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7 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

You should be able to nab Diabate from them on loan in exchange, is usually very productive :brock:

@smplfc123 I had a feeling my transfer teasers had intrigued you. Any guesses on my new keeper or striker? I'll update when I reach the end of August as I can probably do a review of my Europa League campaign by then too!!!

Maybe Butland and Berahino? I am taking a guess that stoke perhaps got relegated. 

The striker could also be Andre Gray if he wasn’t getting regular game time at Watford? 

By the way speaking of mediocre premier league strikers, I have noticed that Chris wood is crazily over powered in the game he always finishes in the top 3 scorer’s  

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Maybe Butland and Berahino? I am taking a guess that stoke perhaps got relegated. 

The striker could also be Andre Gray if he wasn’t getting regular game time at Watford? 

By the way speaking of mediocre premier league strikers, I have noticed that Chris wood is crazily over powered in the game he always finishes in the top 3 scorer’s  

 

 

 

I'd say you may be right, but not entirely :)

@RageMaster You could do worse than look at Fernando Karanga from CSKA Sofia. He's Brazilian but will get a WP due to Bulgarian second nationality. There are better available, but value for money with him is quite good. Or loan Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan if you want something less original.

@Ronaldo Beckham A solid start with Hull. You really changed things up there with your squad, but pleased to see that Bowen and Campbell are doing well for you as originals.

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1 minute ago, duds said:

Keeper could be Pickford. Everton go down in some saves too.

I hope the striker isn't Rooney though :lol:

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1 hour ago, kozmik said:

I hope the striker isn't Rooney though :lol:

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Season 2 is upon us at Craven Cottage, and after promotion this is how I spent my £32m transfer budget.

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Charlie Austin was my only choice for the striker role, and even though Saints didn't go down he was willing to join us as a guaranteed starter (when fit).

My passion to continue hinged on this signing, so I was delighted to land my man.

Despite the success of last season, we had lacked a central striker with such presence.

I also renewed the loan of Cutrone from AC Milan, again with no wage contribution or loan fee. He remains a good option from the bench, hopefully.

I was interested in bringing Mitrovic back, but we couldn't get close to the wages whether on a permanent or loan deal.

I also enquired about former Fulham hotshot Dembele on loan, but he had moved from Celtic to Dortmund last season and was seen as a key player there.

Jack Butland was my other major signing with relegated Stoke looking to trim their squad.

I was delighted to grab him, and he should be our number 1 for quite some time.

Connor Goldson boosted central defence options, but was only intended to be 4th in the pecking order.

Unfortunately, I couldn't complete deals for Mawson or Jorgensen from relegated Swansea or Huddersfield, nor Dunk or Duffy from Brighton.

I also thought about getting Smalling back, but he was way out of reach. Ake, Gomez, Rice and some foreigners also rejected us.

So I'm probably a player short there with only Ream, Flint and Odoi available alongside the new man,

I believe that Fofana and new signing Abdoulaye Toure could drop back from defensive midfield, but they're not naturals.

I hesitated on the deal for Toure, but I needed depth and he was good value for money.

Sadly my main target Amadou Haidara (RB Salzburg) couldn't get a WP and Badou Ndiaye from relegated Stoke was out of my price range. 

In addition to him, I also wanted one more creative midfielder, and I tried really hard to get Patrick Roberts back on loan from Man City.

Unfortunately that didn't work out, so after much deliberation I took a punt on signing Samir Nasri on a free transfer.

I'd tried to tempt him last year but he wasn't interested. However after a year without a club, a wage of £22k per week was agreed between us.

Ali Maaloul had been my left-back target last season but had his WP rejected, forcing me to sign alternatives Bidwell and Bennett.

This year he got his WP and should now be first choice. Unfortunately I haven't been able to move on either of the other two in time.

Karlo Letica takes the third 'keeper role and the young Croat has plenty of potential which I hope can be developed.

The one other signing was young striker Eric Ayiah. He arrives from Africa without a WP but is an investment project anyway.

Leaving the club? Not many. Ayite had been loaned out last year and I was happy to get some cash for him.

Button had been in competition with Bettinelli between the sticks, but was unhappy and in the last year of his contract.

I would have kept him, but when I saw that Butland was willing to join, I reluctantly hit the accept button and let him move on.

This was the first time I had encountered the new transfer deadline date, so I hadn't been sharp enough to get rid of three or four others.

But my dealings were wrapped up when Wigan offered to pay £50k per month plus 100% wages for the unwanted Fonte on their own deadline day.

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Pre-season went quite well. The first match against Sporting Lisbon stunned even myself to be honest as we brushed them aside easily.

Austin gave me some concerns, he wasn't getting many goals and his ratings were really low too (lowest in the entire team).

But Sessegnon and Leko continued to be on fire, and they were the reason we crushed NK Domzale in our first Europa League qualifiers.

The second qualifying round was much tougher and despite fighting back from 0-2 against at home to our Austrian opponents, we were almost out.

I'd almost given up ahead of the away leg, but Charlie came to the rescue.

I don't know where that clean sheet came from, but we had pulled off the unthinkable and amazingly will be in the Group stages now!

In the Premier League, I am like a fish out of water. I'm a PL novice and I think it shows.

I'm not going to change my approach to games, but we need to be smarter. And we need to stop conceding goals. But at least Charlie looks to be settling in.

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I'd take 13th position at any time. But these weren't the toughest of fixtures and we really struggled to get one point from six. This won't be easy at all.

And I have no idea how we can be in this financial mess. Has anybody ever seen a financial graph as bad as that in the top flight?

To be continued...

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Congrats on your Europa group spot! Butland is a terrific keeper, hopefully he can win some points for you with his saves. You won't be stopping conceding goals any time soon though I'm afraid. We kept seven clean sheets all season, and two of those came against a woeful Derby side with Cameron Jerome up front. And setting up a strong defense is, or at least it used to be, my forte. Particularly playing with a back four in away games against sides playing with two strikers is a real struggle. Even in my Lincoln save with my world class backline I conceded loads of silly goals when playing 2v2 in defense.

Don't worry about the finances btw. The TV money, around 90 mill + 1,2 million per televised match is paid throughout the season. My finances looked the same early on and by the end of the season we were around 60 million in the black.

Edited by kozmik

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@Jogo Bonito Off the top of my head i'll guess Butland and Austin....? :brock:

A great start to your European campaign and although you're not sure on your start to premiership life, I reckon with that squad you'll have enough to see you through in to mid table. A shame you couldn't get some deals through.

Hopefully the financial situation will sort itself out.

Edited by smplfc123

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@kozmik Thanks for that. Good to hear the finances will sort themselves out, hopefully the Europa League will also pay out as each match passes. Not so good to hear about the defensive worries being standard practice. But at least if we let in two or more every week, we should be prime candidates for TV schedulers!

@smplfc123 Good guesses! Thanks, it's early days but I agree staying up would be more than satisfactory to me.

Edit:  I forgot to add earlier that Ryan Sessegnon is now listed as a Fulham icon (at 18) and I have been his favoured personnel for over a year already. And I recruited another club icon Ray Lewington to the coaching staff as he looked a little lost after Roy Hodgson retired from football. Quite a few players are unhappy that I didn't let them move to bigger clubs or give them even more lucrative contracts, but I think they're being greedy and hopefully they will settle down. Apart from Austin (£50k per week) and Butland (£39.5k per week), only Sessegnon (£32k per week) and Cairney (£31.5k per week) are earning more than £25k - and lots of them are on much less. Cairney, Fredericks and Bettinelli are all unhappy, plus some that I have been trying to sell or who don't feature often.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Thanks for suggestions, think i will go with Stevenage. Don't get much time to play these days but will update in here when i get going.

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2 minutes ago, fraz86 said:

Thanks for suggestions, think i will go with Stevenage. Don't get much time to play these days but will update in here when i get going.

Best of luck, I think Stevenage is a really good option in L2 if you have the patience to build them up.

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HULL UPDATE

So I had a very good first half of the season getting near the play offs then the 2nd half of the season was terrible as I kept losing or drawing despite changing tactics a few times, I got sacked in April.

I am off to have a think who to manage next lol.

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@kozmik I just want to say thank you for inspiring me. I have been reading back through the last couple of pages to get some inspiration for club choice and I've decided to go with Barnsley. I can only hope I do half as good as you as my first aim is to stay in the championship whilst trying to implement my style.

I've stuck to a low rep and national quals with transfers off, so i'm really relishing this challenge.

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