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FM19: The English Football League thread

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@Jogo Bonito That's really good start to the campaign. And a very attractive post!

I've spent most of the last couple of days futzing about in Touch, trying to get my head around the new tactics creator. Hope to get back to Boro tonight.

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Thanks @karanhsingh @Gunner 101 @warlock 

It's enjoyable so far and definitely going better than expected. I don't ever feel we are far away from a fall as it's a hard slog in League 2, and maintaining consistency is never easy. When I was researching the club, I admit I liked some of the old graphics I found so you'll have to forgive the use of these in my story :cool:

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Is anyone else struggling with player development? It’s been 14 months and my players have barely improved across the board.

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I think I may start with Bolton. While simulating another save to see if any tycoons popped up, Bolton was bought by a Korean tycoon. On January 1st 2019 Bolton are placed 23rd, so it will be a challenge, but an immensely fun one with all the money to spend.

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I've only just seen this thread and wanted to share my Pompey save, so I apologise for the long post.

Season 1

Transfer wise I didn't really do anything, but we managed to win league 1 at the 1st time of asking, and on the final day. Brett Pitman, Jamal Lowe and Lee Brown were my star players, Gribbin was good as well.

1136059674_season1transfers.thumb.png.b439477cf49ab211b09ce8e0cef054fb.png 507401640_season1.thumb.png.911b08e1d2a4592b3b58b33aa04bea38.png

Season 2

We had a tough season in the championship, surviving relegation. Some of my transfers didn't work but Jordan Rhodes was good. Clough was particularly disappointing and has now been sold.

2130468646_season2transfers.thumb.png.d30a2e58e0efb6f4ac56e5d458b2e7d8.png1632462948_season2.thumb.png.9bb2af85483c665924920d019cf1e7d8.png

Season 3

We managed to sign Rhodes on a free transfer but he ended up having a poor season, we did however get some great loan signings in, Tymon was excellent and the 2 man utd loans were very good too, but we missed out on the playoffs by goal difference, losing our last 2 games.

2109185214_season3transfers.thumb.png.fb16da7c2817b5ccbaeb09ed442005c8.png1862570193_season3.thumb.png.d6925c7369515e149e11e3b84352c12d.png

Season 4

So far in season 4, we are looking great for automatic promotion, made some great signings, Sam Vokes and Matt Doherty on loan and picking up Mctominay  and Besic on frees. We pulled off an amazing signing in Geubbels on loan who has been fantastic, we are having to pay his whole 20k a week wages but its been worth it.

1502574153_season4transfers.thumb.png.0b9197ab4157e722a966c2f3c902fac1.png148056912_season4sofar.thumb.png.e8d4fdbd2fdec98c2619a9eb65858e58.png

So after nearly 4 seasons this is what our starting 11 looks like, my midfield 3 has been the foundation of my team, really made us solid, and the front 3 have been pretty deadly so far.

1443067125_current11.thumb.png.341d712b488473a5919d547d2e4313aa.png

Lowe, Close, May and Whatmough have been brilliant all the way with me, and will stay with me in the prem if we can get there. I have managed to extend Geubbels loan for next season, which I'm very happy about, Doherty's Wolves contract is up at the end of the season so hopefully can sign him on a free, and would love to keep Vokes if I get the money.

As you can I've barely spent anything and have relied on loans, does mean I've built some money up in the bank, which hopefully will get to see the benefit of if/when we get promoted.

 

Edited by sedge11

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4 hours ago, Mr_Demus said:

I think I may start with Bolton

Found your sugar daddy, eh? Good luck with the Wanderers.

33 minutes ago, sedge11 said:

I've only just seen this thread and wanted to share my Pompey save, so I apologise for the long post.

Glad you found us eventually. An object lesson in perseverance - Championship is a tough division to climb out of.

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@sedge11Good read! Good luck and keep it up. Was in a very similar situation to you, the Prem is something else though, at least for me! :thup:

Was thinking of doing the same thing though, sharing my story so far in here (or at least the most recent part).

Salford City - 2022/2023

From 2018/2019 to 2021/2022 we managed to win 4 titles. Even though we were far from favourites in the Championship we won the title by quite a margin. Did not have any money to spend till that moment, so I was totally relying on doing a lot of scouting myself, putting hours and hours into finding good players that had a contract that was about to expire. So coming into the Premier League it was the first year I actually got a transferbudget. But not enough to improve a team that on average would perform midtable in the Championship to become competitive in the Premier League. We are number 1 favorites to relegate and as the screens (in Dutch, sorry for that) show facilities (stadium size) and revenues from matches are seriously behind on the competition, just like the wages I am spending compared to any other team in the league. An extra challenge is I try to keep my team as much English as possible. No foreigners (though the brexit rule in my game is the maximum 17 foreigners).

2ewmd6g.jpgmmufp.jpgakd4i0.jpg

The goal for the season was to do an attempt to not relegate. We were off to a good start with 4 points out of 2 games. A solid 5-0 win over fellow relegation candidate Leeds and a decent 0-0 away at Watford, which I would have agreed to beforehand if not for the red card Watford got late in the game. Little unlucky with finishing my chances in the games vs Burnley and Everton or I would have won those as well. Can't complain about most of the losses, not even the big ones. Conceding a lot from set pieces vs the top teams, which is making it a struggle to sit back against them and play for a counter.

11cfkhw.jpg1p8em8.jpg

Was hoping to do a little better by now. Once I started losing causing the morale to drop and reserves to start complaining it was hard to turn it around. Think I have got things a little better already, but took me a while. Now we are in November and December with a massive break. I wondered why, but only then realized the World Cup in 2022 will be played in the winter, so that explains it. Hopefully we can have a better second half of the season, go up to midtable and take this season as development for the young talented squad. Maybe we will be able to do something in the FA Cup, because the Carabao Cup let me play Spurs in the second round. Unlucky with that.

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@Sedge11 fantastic post! You're doing fantastic with Pompey and good luck in the Premier League, hopefully you can keep them up and build up from there.

I've started in League 1 with Sunderland, seems abit easy at the moment (i'm into September). I lost on the opening day of the season 3-0 at home as I accidently holidayed past the first match day and my only other loss came in the Carabao cup 2nd round. As long as I keep up my interest in the save then I will post an update come the end of the season.

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53 minutes ago, XcilPersion said:

@sedge11Good read! Good luck and keep it up. Was in a very similar situation to you, the Prem is something else though, at least for me! :thup:

Was thinking of doing the same thing though, sharing my story so far in here (or at least the most recent part).

Salford City - 2022/2023

From 2018/2019 to 2021/2022 we managed to win 4 titles. Even though we were far from favourites in the Championship we won the title by quite a margin. Did not have any money to spend till that moment, so I was totally relying on doing a lot of scouting myself, putting hours and hours into finding good players that had a contract that was about to expire. So coming into the Premier League it was the first year I actually got a transferbudget. But not enough to improve a team that on average would perform midtable in the Championship to become competitive in the Premier League. We are number 1 favorites to relegate and as the screens (in Dutch, sorry for that) show facilities (stadium size) and revenues from matches are seriously behind on the competition, just like the wages I am spending compared to any other team in the league. An extra challenge is I try to keep my team as much English as possible. No foreigners (though the brexit rule in my game is the maximum 17 foreigners).

2ewmd6g.jpgmmufp.jpgakd4i0.jpg

The goal for the season was to do an attempt to not relegate. We were off to a good start with 4 points out of 2 games. A solid 5-0 win over fellow relegation candidate Leeds and a decent 0-0 away at Watford, which I would have agreed to beforehand if not for the red card Watford got late in the game. Little unlucky with finishing my chances in the games vs Burnley and Everton or I would have won those as well. Can't complain about most of the losses, not even the big ones. Conceding a lot from set pieces vs the top teams, which is making it a struggle to sit back against them and play for a counter.

11cfkhw.jpg1p8em8.jpg

Was hoping to do a little better by now. Once I started losing causing the morale to drop and reserves to start complaining it was hard to turn it around. Think I have got things a little better already, but took me a while. Now we are in November and December with a massive break. I wondered why, but only then realized the World Cup in 2022 will be played in the winter, so that explains it. Hopefully we can have a better second half of the season, go up to midtable and take this season as development for the young talented squad. Maybe we will be able to do something in the FA Cup, because the Carabao Cup let me play Spurs in the second round. Unlucky with that.

Congrats mate! You have massively overachieved to get Salford into the Premier League. Quite keen to see your current squad and tactics please.

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@r_amanze After the break and sorting the morale out I have won back to back games vs Wolves and Brighton. Hopefully more coming! Screens you asked me for are below. Got to pick up quite a few of the talents for free/cheap before this season. Trying to have as many UK players as possible unless no good alternative available or an exceptional opportunity for a player. The guys from USA, Malta and Nigeria all have the English nationality too. Camacho, Garcia and Fernandes had their football education for a big part in England, so I don't see them as foreigners and as a Dutchman and PSV fan I had to bring in Gakpo, Romero and Rosario as bargains.

wwkhnl.jpgfbmfzp.jpg

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Make Coventry City great again - 2019/2020 season review

We were so close last season and this season playoff was our target. With Sheff Wed, Bolton and Rotherham joining the league after getting relegated from Championship we knew it would be a tough task. I took a little chance this season, we only had four pre season games(one got cancelled) and an intensive training to get ready for the new season. I was in doubt about that strategy after the friendlies. Was it the right choice? Was it a stupid experiment? 

1f5300b78372a34ff2e471adcfe705ca.png

Transfers:

We needed to strenghten the team significantly and we still had no money to spend on the transfer market, so we had our eyes and ears open for 8 months to identify bosman targets that would give us the needed help. Several interesting targets was on the free transfer market and we did really well to get some of our transfer goals. I was really happy after we managed to sign Grimes and Randall. To great additions that would improve our squad significally. I was actually really happy with our window, we had great cover in midfield and up front. I wasn't that happy with our center backs and the lack of back up for Randall but Kerbie could be used as a backup RB. I was sad to see Willis go in January because he played really well but he was complaining a lot because we couldn't give him another pay raise, and we had to get some money to pay our bills. We got a great addition in Konsa so it turned out good.


13f4383eaa7d5d34140094c865d81149.png


League table:

Wow! What a season! We are in Championship again! Like I said I wasn't to sure about my pre season experiment and we started a little bumpy and giving away unnecessary points even tho we played pretty good. Our central defenders proved to be our weak spot at the start but we stayed in reach of top two all the time, so I had faith! We had an incredible second half of the season, we played great football and our new players really showed their quality. What a season! We also won the Checktrade Trophy and almost knocked out Leicester from the League Cup 4th round after losing on penalties (0-0 FT). We played with reserves in the cup games and they did really well.

7279df041440f15b1ed3056747b471eb.png9124c623e17546a9cef6664a5ae23300.pnge2c2d1a75ddbace2a2615551aa9ecbe2.png
 

Top goalscorer: Jordy Hiwula, 24 goals
Assists: Matt Grimes, 13 assists
Best average rating: Matt Grimes, 7.39 avg
Biggest surprise: Once again I have to give it to Brandon Mason. He had 7.22 in average rating and 7 assists this season. Playing great as a wing back!


As a club with big financial struggles we need to develop young players. Nothing would please me more than an academy player growing into the first team and we got a really great talent in James Hayward. And a couple of other decent regens that can develop into something. 

 0447a3b61fe0993d9d826492a8e4333d.png
 

We really needed that great season becuase or finances isn't in a great shape. -£1.7m is the hard truth and we still can't spend any cash on the forthcoming transfer market. 

Thoughts about the next season:
We have an initial wage budget of £4.36m p/a and £127k in transfer budget. The lowest wage budget in Championship this season was £8.57m p/a... But we know our limits and it's still possible to get a good deal or two on the free transfer market. Even tho we are going to be the biggest underdog and going to meet better players we won't compromise on our DNA, our attacking possession based football style. We are going to win the peoples heart and fight like never before. 


Stay tuned for more news..

Edited by Bergbatov

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

Glad you found us eventually. An object lesson in perseverance - Championship is a tough division to climb out of.

Agreed the championship is possibly one of the hardest league's to navigate through.

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2 hours ago, XcilPersion said:

@r_amanze After the break and sorting the morale out I have won back to back games vs Wolves and Brighton. Hopefully more coming! Screens you asked me for are below. Got to pick up quite a few of the talents for free/cheap before this season. Trying to have as many UK players as possible unless no good alternative available or an exceptional opportunity for a player. The guys from USA, Malta and Nigeria all have the English nationality too. Camacho, Garcia and Fernandes had their football education for a big part in England, so I don't see them as foreigners and as a Dutchman and PSV fan I had to bring in Gakpo, Romero and Rosario as bargains.

wwkhnl.jpgfbmfzp.jpg

Thank you mate. Some key players in that squad like Lewis, Kenny, Da Silva, Burke, Romero and CCV. Think you can achieve mid-table in the PL with some good fortune.

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Middlesbrough: End of October

So having learned a bit about FM19 tactics I'm not sure how much that's showing on the pitch. Thinks certainly aren't bad as we sit second in the division behind surprise leaders Brentford, but just a point or two ahead of Villa and Stoke. At home, the tactic works like a dream: P8 W8, and scoring three or four each time. But we just can't carry that form into away games where we've played 7 with 1 win and 5 draws. At home we've only conceded just one goal, while scoring freely; away we struggle to score and keep a clean sheet.

Braithwaite and Assombalonga lead the scoring charts with five apiece; the latter took an age to get going and three of those goals came in his last two starts. Downing is our main creative force with five assists, and I've had consistently solid performances from all of the defenders. Weakest links have been the 'promising' youngsters like Tavernier and Chapman who are struggling to deliver in the first team. Besic has been bang average and I'll probably terminate his loan in January.

The most pressing need is to start picking up extra points away from home. The tactic is based on positive possession, but I'll have to try a more cautious approach on the road and see whether that helps. November will be a tough month, with three away games at Stoke, Brentford and Preston and only one home game to look forward to.

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1 hour ago, r_amanze said:

Thank you mate. Some key players in that squad like Lewis, Kenny, Da Silva, Burke, Romero and CCV. Think you can achieve mid-table in the PL with some good fortune.

Yeah should be well possible next season. I am moving towards mid table currently already. CA for most players is either high Championship / low PL. Only just bought Romero like 5 mins before the screenshot (800k) and Lewis / Dasilva are basically in the same position, so only 1 can play. But at least there is enough talented players to move forward. Oldest player is 26 only.

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12 hours ago, sedge11 said:

I've only just seen this thread and wanted to share my Pompey save, so I apologise for the long post.

Hey! Really interesting to read about your game, as I am managing Pompey as well. However, not as far along as you. Also it's interesting to see how the players are developing differently for us. 

I have sent May out on loan, and Close has barely developed at all. Can you post up their screenshots on your save? Also did you manage to get improvements also to Whatmough and Clarke? And for me in fact Thompson & Naylor have been solid players.

Also did you ever get an U23 squad or surviving without one? I find it very irritating, but have my U18s playing friendlies every couple of weeks. 

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11 hours ago, XcilPersion said:

@sedge11Good read! Good luck and keep it up. Was in a very similar situation to you, the Prem is something else though, at least for me! :thup:

Was thinking of doing the same thing though, sharing my story so far in here (or at least the most recent part).

Salford City - 2022/2023

That's a stupendous effort, well done! Didn't you have to expand your stadium to meet Premier League requirements?

Are Neville, Scholes, et al owners in the game too? How are they treating you :D 

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8 hours ago, Bergbatov said:

Make Coventry City great again - 2019/2020 season review

We have an initial wage budget of £4.36m p/a and £127k in transfer budget. The lowest wage budget in Championship this season was £8.57m p/a... But we know our limits and it's still possible to get a good deal or two on the free transfer market. Even tho we are going to be the biggest underdog and going to meet better players we won't compromise on our DNA, our attacking possession based football style. We are going to win the peoples heart and fight like never before. 

Great stuff and your newgen looks fantastic! In the Championship you should be able to get in 4-5 good players on loan if you move quick. That's what I am relying on with Pompey, both my top scorers are loanees :D 

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Hey! Really interesting to read about your game, as I am managing Pompey as well. However, not as far along as you. Also it's interesting to see how the players are developing differently for us. 

I have sent May out on loan, and Close has barely developed at all. Can you post up their screenshots on your save? Also did you manage to get improvements also to Whatmough and Clarke? And for me in fact Thompson & Naylor have been solid players.

Also did you ever get an U23 squad or surviving without one? I find it very irritating, but have my U18s playing friendlies every couple of weeks. 

Thanks, yea Pompey is a really fun save.

Thompson and Naylor were fairly solid for me too, but as I got some better players, they just weren't going to get games for me.

Here are screenshots of May, Whatmough and Close, I don't think they have developed much to be honest, Close especially I don't think has just changed at all from what I can tell, possibly my fault though, but all 3 have been very good for me. I sold Clarke after the 2nd season as he wasn't very good, and I think he's actually declined slightly since leaving.

may.thumb.png.52327f575d8e950137b5cc8a25c3b679.pngclose.thumb.png.7c33ad4a514a61e66059b7f03006271c.png

whatmough.thumb.png.fb34b15a93361798752c62652556b67f.png

I have just been promoted to the prem so I will post an update later, but I intend to give all 3 of these boys a chance in the prem.

I still haven't got an U23 side, which like you say can be irritating, especially if you get a good regen, but I have just about coped without it, think I only got 2 decent regens in 4 years, and Pompey don't seem to be massively bothered about youth, as they rejected my request to upgrade the youth facilities.

Edited by sedge11

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11 minutes ago, sedge11 said:

Thanks, yea Pompey is a really fun save.

Thompson and Naylor were fairly solid for me too, but as I got some better players, they just weren't going to get games for me.

Here are screenshots of May, Whatmough and Close, I don't think they have developed much to be honest, Close especially I don't think has just changed at all from what I can tell, possibly my fault though, but all 3 have been very good for me. I sold Clarke after the 2nd season as he wasn't very good, and I think he's actually declined slightly since leaving.

I have just been promoted to the prem so I will post an update later, but I intend to give all 3 of these boys a chance in the prem.

I still haven't got an U23 side, which like you say can be irritating, especially if you get a good regen, but I have just about coped without it, think I only got 2 decent regens in 4 years, and Pompey don't seem to be massively bothered about youth, as they rejected my request to upgrade the youth facilities.

Thanks, interesting to see the screenshots. Close seems to have developed his mental attributes for sure, which is more important in the position he plays. 

Congratulations on your promotion, look forward to the full update. Let me know if you get an U23 added by the end of the summer, when I looked through another couple of threads (not specifically related to Pompey) people said the team just showed up when they made it to the Premier  league. 

The Board luckily just accepted my request to upgrade both training & youth facilities, mid-way through the second season. I will be posting an update soon too once I get to the end of December.

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5 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

That's a stupendous effort, well done! Didn't you have to expand your stadium to meet Premier League requirements?

Are Neville, Scholes, et al owners in the game too? How are they treating you :D 

I tried to ask the board to expand the stadium a few times, but they would only do it for a couple of seats taking like a year to complete it. Then when I made it to the PL they came up with expanding it themselves and it would only took a very short time. So guess that is what you mean. Did it automatically.

I actually picked the team because I liked the Man Utd squad with all these players that are now shareholders at the club. Challenge obviously would be to win the Premier League and Champions League on the long term but also to become the best team in Manchester. You don't really notice anything of it though, except the yearly friendly game that is organized between Man Utd and Salford.

And what you said to @sedge11 is true: once you make it to the Premier League an U23 squad gets added. It is what happened in my game at least.

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6 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Great stuff and your newgen looks fantastic! In the Championship you should be able to get in 4-5 good players on loan if you move quick. That's what I am relying on with Pompey, both my top scorers are loanees :D 

Thanks! We couldn't get all the help we needed. The very low wage budget is holding us back. The transfer window is just finished and we only got 2 CBs, 1 RB, couldn't afford a new striker and have a very thin squad. To loan players we need to pay wages :( I pray to god that we don't get injuries in our defense. And BTW I have no problem with developing players, so it might have something to do with your training(?). 

@XcilPersion Great job! 
 

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35 minutes ago, XcilPersion said:

I tried to ask the board to expand the stadium a few times, but they would only do it for a couple of seats taking like a year to complete it. Then when I made it to the PL they came up with expanding it themselves and it would only took a very short time. So guess that is what you mean. Did it automatically.

I actually picked the team because I liked the Man Utd squad with all these players that are now shareholders at the club. Challenge obviously would be to win the Premier League and Champions League on the long term but also to become the best team in Manchester. You don't really notice anything of it though, except the yearly friendly game that is organized between Man Utd and Salford.

 And what you said to @sedge11 is true: once you make it to the Premier League an U23 squad gets added. It is what happened in my game at least.

Nice one cheers. So what is your stadium capacity up to now?

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1 minute ago, Bergbatov said:

Thanks! We couldn't get all the help we needed. The very low wage budget is holding us back. The transfer window is just finished and we only got 2 CBs, 1 RB, couldn't afford a new striker and have a very thin squad. To loan players we need to pay wages :( I pray to god that we don't get injuries in our defense. And BTW I have no problem with developing players, so it might have something to do with your training(?). 

@XcilPersion Great job! 
 

What is your weekly wage budget? There are some players for who the clubs will accept loans without any contribution towards wages as well - for example I got Ruben Vinaigre from Wolves on an 18 month deal costing me nothing. And he is one of my best players. Just have to literally trawl through the lists and keep trying! But yes you do have some measly budgets. At least I was given 4m to spend by the Board when we got promoted. 

I have left training to my Ass Man. Are you doing it yourself? Have now recently hired some new coaches, including former Pompey legends Hreidarsson and Gary O'Neill. So hopefully that will help. Let's see

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22 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

What is your weekly wage budget? There are some players for who the clubs will accept loans without any contribution towards wages as well - for example I got Ruben Vinaigre from Wolves on an 18 month deal costing me nothing. And he is one of my best players. Just have to literally trawl through the lists and keep trying! But yes you do have some measly budgets. At least I was given 4m to spend by the Board when we got promoted. 

I have left training to my Ass Man. Are you doing it yourself? Have now recently hired some new coaches, including former Pompey legends Hreidarsson and Gary O'Neill. So hopefully that will help. Let's see

Yeah, I tried but I couldn't find what I was looking for without paying any wages. But I got some great loan signings in Lookman, Bielik and Jay Dasilva. The club is making money now so I just need to be patient and wait for the January window. Our weekly wage budget is £90k..

I'm doing the first team training myself based upon Control tactics. And I tweak it to fill in what I want pretty often. Make sure that the person in charge are good if you let your staff do it and have the same prefered playstyle as you do, or close.

Edit; I must have been asleep, the club is definitely not making money :herman: -£3.2m is the prognosis at the end of the season. 

Edited by Bergbatov

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1 minute ago, Bergbatov said:

Yeah, I tried but I couldn't find what I was looking for without paying any wages. But I got some great loan signings in Lookman, Bielik and Jay Dasilva. The club is making money now so I just need to be patient and wait for the January window. Our weekly wage budget is £90k..

I'm doing the first team training myself based upon Control tactics. And I tweak it to fill in what I want pretty often. Make sure that the person in charge are good if you let your staff do it and have the same prefered playstyle as you do, or close.

Thanks. I recently hired Kevin Keen as my Ass Man. He seems to have good stats so am hopeful he can bring some improvements.

90k is not all that much, they gave me 150k although we haven't crossed 120k/week as yet. Lookman should be deadly in the Championship. 

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7 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Nice one cheers. So what is your stadium capacity up to now?

8,939 by now. Still way too small imo, so guess it is a matter of time till it reaches a decent level.

-----------

Another update as I grinded through the remaining of the season.

So, to rehearse: 2022/2023, Salford City's first year in the Premier League after 4 back to back titles. Last update included the first 16 games of the season, everything before the World Cup 2022. There was the following table at that moment.

1p8em8.jpg

So I managed to get the morale back up and got a pretty fresh start after that break. First game was vs Leeds for the FA Cup, 2 days before an important game in the league. So after the 5-0 victory earlier in the season I decided to play the subs and reserves and lost 3-1 after extra time. Conceded the equalizer just before the final whistle unfortunately. But in the end the decision paid off with big victories over both Brighton and Wolves.

ic7eig.jpg

Biggest win of the season was the game vs Chelsea. It could not have been more undeserved and it even was an own goal getting me the 3 points. In the end we got a solid 13th place finish, only a few points behind the actual midtable. So next season the goal obviously is to do better.

sg7ndt.jpg

The board has decided to move out of Moor Lane because it does not meet the requirements for the Premier League (not sure why I was able to stay in it this season for my home games). Besides, I have been given €40 million to spend during the summer. So I will obviously be looking for those players that can add something to the squad. Might actually make a thread for myself in the FM Career board for future updates.

Edited by XcilPersion

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I've been able to keep my Grimsby side in contention during November and December, with some generally solid form in League 2

I've also managed to win twice in the Checkatrade Trophy (beating Boro's U23 side and Sunderland) even when fielding much-weakened teams

And I've beaten Billericay (after a replay) and Port Vale to reach the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, where Portsmouth awaits me next

The last few league games haven't been great though, and my four match winless streak has seen me drop from 4th to 7th

But the transfer window is open, and I've already managed to get rid of some of my unwanted veterans and cash-draining reserve players

I've made one more signing so far (free transfer) but there might be one or two other changes to the squad if I can convince them to join  

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So here's an update for the end of the 4th season.

And we got promoted by finishing 2nd in the championship.

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As you can see Vokes got top scorer and we managed to sign him permanently in the summer. Geubbels was amazing and we have managed to extend his loan for another year, Mctominay was also excellent and along with Close and Besic formed a great midfield 3.

So the board gave me 36mil to spend and 450k a week in wages, to prepare ourselves for the prem.

It's been abit of a slog and with it being 2022 and with the world cup in Qatar, it has meant the season starts abit earlier and the window is still open for a few more deals.

A few players were released in Ledley, Dann, Spence and Lee brown. Brown had been good for us in the 4 years but isn't good enough for the step up.

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We brought in some good experience in Smalling, Welbeck and of course Vokes, along with some great young players, Tymon and Wan Bissaka. So that is my current best 11 for the start of our premier league journey. I still need another keeper, it's an area I've struggled to find anyone in, also I think could do with another centre mid and centre half, I still have 15 mil to spend so will see what we can do. Our 1st game is against Norwich who came up with us, so hopefully 3 points straight off.

Edited by sedge11

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@XcilPersion - great job with Salford, hugely impressive. And love that kind of win over Chelsea :D So are  the Board building a new stadium for you?

@Jogo Bonito - some good progress there, hope you can stay in the play-off spots 

@sedge11 - congratulations on the promotion! Hopefully I will soon follow you with my Pompey side :) I like the mix of experience & youth in your signings.

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I have reached the half-way point of my second season which means it is time for a half-season update.

League - well so far things could not be going much better for us, I only hope that we can keep this up because all through FM18 I struggled with the second half of seasons. I was hoping for play-offs at best so if we do achieve automatic promotion at the first time of asking it would indeed be a pleasant surprise. We have scored a lot of goals as you can see, playing an attacking 4-4-2 formation. 

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Squad - honestly the entire team has excelled. the screenshot below has the squad ranked in order of appearance. The only important player missing is Angel Gomes who had a really good start with us before suffering a 6 month injury layoff. Burgess also is out with a long-term injury so I will probably be looking for another CB in the winter window. Special mentions have to go too Cummings, who after a slow start has been on fire, Josh Vela and the on-loan Andre Dozzell who have formed an immense partnership in the centre of the park, and Kamara who has continued his form from last season. Ably supporting them have been Jamal Lowe and Danny Loader, high hopes in the future from both of these guys. At the back Whatmough & Clarke have kept things fairly tight.

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The final update is from our Carabao Cup run, which surprisingly is still ongoing! We have managed to navigate some tricky fixtures so far, including Fulham, Wolves, Watford and most recently Brentford (in the PL). However now we will come up against Arsenal which of course will be a whole other challenge.

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In other news, financially the club is doing well. We have 400k left in the transfer kitty from which I will try to find a squad rotation CB in Jan.  

The club has agreed to upgrade both Training and Youth facilities, work will be complete by Oct 2020.

We have the highest number of sell-outs in the league, and our avg. attendance is 99% of capacity, so if we do get promoted I would definitely then ask for an expansion.

I have managed to heavily improve our coaching & scouting teams, we now have 9 full time coaches and 7 scouts on board, including former Pompey legends Hreidarsson and Gary O'Neill (managing the U18s). Maybe at some point  I will hire Harry Redknapp as Ass Man :lol:

Edited by karanhsingh

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@karanhsingh Good to see you are doing well so far in the season. Love the players you are using. For me, the board has not decided to build a new stadium because we don't have many fans (yet).  So for the next season we will be playing in the City of Manchester stadium.

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@sedge11, @Jogo Bonito, @karanhsingh Good to see you all doing well. Pompey making easy work of the Championship so far!

Unfortunately, I have not done so well.

Middlesbrough: End of 2018

I was expecting a tough November and so it proved, as we continued our fantastic record at home, and our lamentable inability to win away. And then, in December, things took a definite turn for the worse. Home wins turned to draws, and away draws turned to losses. Our struggling strikers kept on struggling, and our previously-impregnable defence became suddenly pregnable. No-one was immune, although Sam McQueen was the best of a bad bunch. The string of poor results saw us drop from second place out of the playoff positions and into 7th.

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From 10 games played in the two months, we picked up just two wins. Worse still were the final two games of the year, at home to struggling Wednesday and bottom-of-the-table Ipswich where we again failed to score and took just two points from six.

Downing is carrying the team, leading the scoring and assists charts with seven in each. Braithwaite and Assombalonga haven't scored in ages, and Gestede - back from injury - hasn't found the net either. While the CBs are chipping in with half-a-dozen goals from set-pieces, most of the scoring is coming from midfield. As the year drew to a close, I decided another tactical switch was required, and Portuguese prospect Xadas was signed for a bargain £800k. He arrived on New Years Day and, while not ready for the first-team on Day One, he has allowed me to shift to a tactic that delivered much success in Fm18: Cleon's deep 4231. We began the year with a trip to Derby, sitting one place above us, and the tactic delivered big time. Although Howson had done well at AMC for a couple of games, he is far from accomplished and eventually struggled. My only alternative was Lewis Wing, who has bagged a couple and led off the scoring against Derby but isn't consistent. I'm hoping Xadas will make the spot his own.

Tactically, my biggest problem is that only Downing and McQueen can deliver a cross. I'd like to improve on that but between wage and transfer budget limitations it seem unlikely that more reinforcements will be arriving. Barring something unexpected, automatic promotion is looking unlikely but I'm pretty confident we can make the playoffs.

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And next game, away to Sunderland in the FA Cup, Xadas makes an impressive debut, three shots on target, sets up a goal in a 3-0 win - and then limps off with an ankle injury. Out for two weeks. Sigh!

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So I have been planning to write in this thread for a while, but I never get the time :p

Anyhow, I want to give this a go :)


Club: Blackburn Rovers
Why: Blackburn have some nice history, and also in this case I like that they start with an OK transfer budget (which made it possible to bring in Sandro Tonali from Brescia).
Goal: Get Blackburn in to PL, and also have a strong focus on developing young players (like Tonali).

 

Blackburn Rovers – January 2019

So unfortunately I’m at work right now so I can’t attach any pics, but I will try to do that at a later time. Right now we are at the end of January and we are sitting 2nd in the table. However, it is extremely tight at the top. We, Bristol City (1st) and Derby (3rd) are within two points of each other, and the other three are just behind us. I really like (and sometimes dislike :P) how competitive this league is!

Before I started the save my plan was to establish us as a middle league team the first season, and then push for top 6 the second season. Right now it looks like we are quite stable as at least a top 6 team, but my plan still remains so when doing transfers I do it after my plan. Speaking of transfers, this is what has happened:

### IN ###

Sandro Tonali from Brescia

Antonio Marin from Dinamo

Philipp Wollscheid on a free transfer

Leandro Cardoso from Maritimo (January)

### ### ###

### OUT ###

Dominic Samuel

Richie Smallwood (January)

Elliot Bennett (January)

### ### ###

 

From above the most important player for me was Sandro Tonali. He is also the reason why I choose Blackburn so that I could use their transfer budget to bring him in. I want to see how good I can develop him, and where he can take us.

When it comes to tactics and player performance we run a quite standard 4-1-4-1 DM wide, with the wingers in AM strata. Mulgrew and Wollscheid have been very good for us as the 1st CB pair. Mulgrew also delivers some good corners, which we tend to score some goals from. Wollscheid actually get some goals and assist from this. Sandro Tonali is playing as DPL in midfield, and he is doing pretty well from there. He is developing nicely, and I really like his PPMs. Also Derrick Williams and Ryan Nyambe are doing OK as DL and RB.

As already mentioned I still plan for us to not advance to PL this season (and I really expect the “FM-mid-season-drop to happen soon” ;) ). That is why I choose to bring in Leandro Cardoso in January, whom I hope will develop nicely in the championship. If we would advance to PL this season that is just a (big) bonus :)
I hope I can update this post with some pics, and that I can do a more proper season end review.

Edited by Mindtrick_42

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1 minute ago, Mindtrick_42 said:

So I have been planning to write in this thread for a while, but I never get the time :p

Glad you found the time :). I think there's a good story to be written with Blackburn, and it looks like you've made a good start. KUTGW!

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Great to see so many careers in progress here!

I've recently finished my first season with Sunderland. Way too easy, but a nice change compared to my frustrating struggles with last year's game. Won the L1 title in record-breaking fashion:

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Took a little while to get the tactics right but once I did and we really got going, starting with a 5-0 thrashing of Barnsley in late November, the title was practically never in doubt. For the last couple of months the only thing that kept me going was trying to break as many records as possible. If there were records for least goals conceded or most clean sheets (we got 30) I think we would've broken them as well.

Won the Checkatrade trophy as well:

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Have to say though, the squad was pretty overpowered for L1 level and it was too easy to make signings to make the team even more overpowered.

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Choudhury, Sorloth and particularly Bednarek on free loans in league one is pretty ridiculous.

I've made it to the summer transfer window and have bagged one pretty unbelievable signing so far. I've told the squad I expect a top half finish but will be aiming for the playoffs at least.

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@kozmik Too easy for you! I guess money and reputation goes a long way. Some awesome signings there (I'm annoyed about Marin - just tried to sign him in the Jan 19 window and Dinamo want £10m for him). You should blow the Championship away with that squad.

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15 minutes ago, warlock said:

@kozmik Too easy for you! I guess money and reputation goes a long way. Some awesome signings there (I'm annoyed about Marin - just tried to sign him in the Jan 19 window and Dinamo want £10m for him). You should blow the Championship away with that squad.

Yeah, the difference between Sunderland and other L1 clubs is huge, both in terms of money and rep. I think all of the players in my first XI were at least championship level according to my assistant. Bednarek is someone I'd have been comfortable with having as 3rd choice CB in a relegation candidate prem team, that's how good he is. Hope you're right about championship, I'm not sure as I don't really feel comfortable with the new tactics system yet. L1 was a bit of a special case as pretty much every team was just parking the bus against us. I guess we'll see. The main problem right now is replacing Oviedo, who's on his way to Bordeaux. I've signed Jay Dasilva on loan from Chelsea but I'm not really comfortable with him as first choice.

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@kozmik - crazy signings! How did you affor them all, do Sunderland start with a good budget? Surprised that Tonali and Marin agreed to drop into league one. Although obviously didn’t have to be there too long! 

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@warlock - nice update and good luck with the rest of the season. Xadas should prove to be a solid signing. Is Tavernier not playing well for you, noticed you said you don’t have good wingers! Also pleasantly surprised that Downing is still doing the business. 

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14 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Is Tavernier not playing well for you

Sadly not. He has huge potential but not showing it yet - have given him two starts and seven sub appearances and he's averaged 6.5 with one assist. Harry Chapman isn't doing much better (two years older at 21). They're both stellar in training, regularly rating 9s and 10s from my coaches, but just can't produce it on the pitch.

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58 minutes ago, warlock said:

Sadly not. He has huge potential but not showing it yet - have given him two starts and seven sub appearances and he's averaged 6.5 with one assist. Harry Chapman isn't doing much better (two years older at 21). They're both stellar in training, regularly rating 9s and 10s from my coaches, but just can't produce it on the pitch.

I see. Just give them time I guess 

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34 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

@kozmik - crazy signings! How did you affor them all, do Sunderland start with a good budget? Surprised that Tonali and Marin agreed to drop into league one. Although obviously didn’t have to be there too long! 

The budget at the start was 4 million iirc, and you get 90% of sales to spend, negotiable to 100%. Selling a few players added nicely into the budget and freed up a lot of wages, and obviously I paid parts of the fees in installments. Also one deal you can't see in the screenshot is 4 mill for Oviedo, which was agreed (and fee received) in early Jan but only went through in the summer. After securing promotion I was given a budget of 24 mill and 133k per week available wages so there is a great deal of money around. Although next year there will be no more parachute payments so unless we get promoted there will surely be much less money available next summer. But you can do a lot with free loans, I've agreed two so far this summer and have a third one in the works. One of those that's already done is Dean Henderson, prem level keeper, no fee, no wages. The one in the works is just plain silly, will be interesting to see whether a bigger side snaps him up before it goes through.

As for dropping down to league one, they weren't willing to do so without promises made...

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Man I just got schooled by Arsenal 3-0 in the first leg of our Carabao cup semi final. Stark reminder that while we are doing well in the Championship, the gap to the better sides in the Prem is very large indeed. We barely had a touch! 

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

I see. Just give them time I guess 

Partly that, partly they need a better manager!?! I've really struggled with tactics this year - late in FM17 and all through FM18 I thought I had it mastered, but it's been a crash back to earth this time. There's probably been too much experimenting in this Boro save, and our team cohesion, and tactical familiarity have suffered. I've not decided yet, but with results going from bad to worse I might have to bin this one and start over. A wise man once said, you avoid mistakes through experience; you gain experience by making mistakes :lol:.

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Second season in the Premier League with Salford and after a 13th place last season, I only picked up my first loss after 13 games now. Barely upgraded my team except for 2 or 3 positions, having not even spent half the budget they gave me earlier. Been drawing with many of the top teams, unfortunately conceded after 93:51 from a corner to Man City with 4 mins added on and an even game vs Spurs got decided on a penalty. I am not scoring enough though, but that is maybe my style of playing. Making sure the defense is good (switching between 4231 and 4141 tactics) causing not having that many players forward to score goals. Might have to chance that as 3 wins and 3 losses instead of 6 draws simply gets you more points. As you can see only Spurs and Liverpool conceded less goals than me.

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7 hours ago, warlock said:

Partly that, partly they need a better manager!?! I've really struggled with tactics this year - late in FM17 and all through FM18 I thought I had it mastered, but it's been a crash back to earth this time. There's probably been too much experimenting in this Boro save, and our team cohesion, and tactical familiarity have suffered. I've not decided yet, but with results going from bad to worse I might have to bin this one and start over. A wise man once said, you avoid mistakes through experience; you gain experience by making mistakes :lol:.

Sure it’s not that bad! What kind of setup are you using? Still in the hunt for playoffs?

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2 hours ago, XcilPersion said:

Second season in the Premier League with Salford and after a 13th place last season, I only picked up my first loss after 13 games now. Barely upgraded my team except for 2 or 3 positions, having not even spent half the budget they gave me earlier. Been drawing with many of the top teams, unfortunately conceded after 93:51 from a corner to Man City with 4 mins added on and an even game vs Spurs got decided on a penalty. I am not scoring enough though, but that is maybe my style of playing. Making sure the defense is good (switching between 4231 and 4141 tactics) causing not having that many players forward to score goals. Might have to chance that as 3 wins and 3 losses instead of 6 draws simply gets you more points. As you can see only Spurs and Liverpool conceded less goals than me.

119798x.jpg2lc0j03.jpg

Good stuff! What’s your first team looking like now?

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