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FM19: The English Football League thread

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Mansfield Town: Season 1, League 2

Why Mansfield you may be wondering? When I was looking through the L2 unloved list, there weren't many teams I knew anything about. But for the last two years when managing non-league teams I have always loaned a certain Cameron Healey, a 19-year-old midfielder from Mansfield's U23 squad, and he has always served me very well. I wondered how well he would develop if given the opportunity in the Mansfield first team.

The squad

On first acquaintance, The Stags' squad looked pretty good - naturally set up for a 442, with only a couple of holes. The first is at RB where there's a very good first choice in Hayden White but no obvious backup. The second problem was at striker where we only had two ageing targetmen, and a young loan signing in Tyler Walker from Nottingham Forest. Mansfield have a senior affiliate in Derby County and the squad also features two loanees from there - LB Calum Macdonald, and winger Timi Elsnik. A fourth loan player is Stoke's CB Ryan Sweeney, so there was only one loan spot available. After rummaging around the scouting list, I brought in Marcus Forss from Brentford up front, and - not without reservations - signed 34-year-old Lewis Buxton at RB. As is often the way, the promising young Forss has been terrible, and the wily old dog has performed very well indeed.

Still, with the playing squad sorted - and a clean sweep of the backroom staff - the season got under way. But problems soon emerged. One of the old targetmen, 32-year-old Craig Davies, was a new signing, was unfailingly rubbish but complained about lack of games. When I gave him a chance, he didn't improve and then kicked off about more starts. He was quickly moved to the U23s and transfer-listed. So we've played most of the season so far with three strikers rotating in two slots and, fortunately, have avoided injuries there.

On the field, there were no issues. The trusty old 442 delivered again and we swiftly moved into the top spot and stayed there into December as we together some good sequences of results.

First half results

BhmAE1Nh.png?1

We were unlucky to draw Leeds in the first round of the Carabao Cup but gave a good account before losing narrowly. I was hoping for an early exit from the Checkatrade Trophy but despite playing as many backup and young players as possible without incurring the fine, the lads couldn't help themselves and we topped our group.

As always, I was expecting a mid-season slump and December looked like a tough month with 8 games scheduled. As it transpired, we started the month very well, and then managed to exit the Checkatrade. Unfortunately, that defeat seemed to hit our confidence and we managed just one win from the next 5 games.

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Fortunately, our closest rivals fared no better and we kept our hold on the top spot. Following a toothless performance against Grimsby I held a team meeting and told the lads to buck their ideas up, which had the desired effect of lifting morale. Unfortunately, our next game is a tough away tie at West Ham in the FA Cup, which might boost the finances a bit but is unlikely to do much for confidence.

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Walker has performed wonderfully well, with 21 goals in 31 appearances. In contrast, young Forss has just 4 in 22 - if I can line up a replacement he'll be shipped back to Brentford in this window. As for Master Healey, here he is: just after his 20th birthday:

gAKehEqh.png?1

That 'driven' personality puts him at the top of the training ratings week after week. In 15 starts he's never let me down, he performs way better than his value and coach rating suggests, and he's keeping older players out of the team.

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After seeing @smplfc123 playing with my beloved owls I restarted with them a few weeks ago.

Transfers:

image.thumb.png.a5d977dcfbaf5816de040ccddc6f5ee5.png

I'm in November and top 3. 5-2-2-1 seems to be the only formation that suits my players, tried alot of in pre-season but ended up sticking with the formation I used in beta. Foden and KWP are here for free, I used the transfer money from Matias to buy Xadas.

In beta, my transfer/wage budget was slashed in January, so I'm only expecting players to leave in the January window.

 

Edited by jonathan44

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Haven't had much time to play much FM over the last few weeks, however I'm pleased to say I finally found a bit of time the last few days. There are too many posts to comment on since I last visited the forum, but I have enjoyed reading them and congratulations to everyone on their various successes.

I was so excited to finally play again so I have played all the way through to the winter break (the Qatar World Cup 2022 can be played for this unusual occurrence) so apologies this will likely be a long update! As you will read this season has not exactly gone to plan, but I enjoy a challenge so look forward to turning things around...

Charlton Athletic - Season 5 - Part 1

Due to the aforementioned World Cup, my season started on the 16th July and therefore in accordance with this the transfer window closed early too. This gave me limited time to conclude my business, so I had to move fast.

Transfers

Release.thumb.png.faff89d1221ca6efbc0660ad36736534.pngTransfers.thumb.png.53e7dd868da0b6f67ae1ba602c743bdf.png

I began by clearing out the players who had been surplus to requirements in our first Premier League season. Pearce, Kalinic and Burgy left on frees; Ayew, Taylor, Bahlouhi and Sasso sold; and stalwarts Kruse and Elliot retired.  A large number of youth players were sent out on loan to develop, including new recruits Copping and Puklin.

With a Europa League campaign upcoming, I was conscious of the youthful composition of my squad. I therefore looked to bring in some cultured experience to help us through this campaign, recruiting Hamsik, Perisic and Jones on free transfers. Although being 34, 33 and 30 respectively their stats looked good still and I hoped they had enough left in the tank to see me through what was to be a busy season.

I was delighted to make two signings which I thought were absolute bargains; I picked up the talented Mahmoud Dahoud on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund and winger Calvin Stengs for a snip at £5.5m.

Last season's right back Garcia had returned to Lille after his loan spell so I was weighing up my options for this position. Then in pre-season disaster struck as my only other right back Coyle broke his leg and was ruled out for 6 months. I therefore had to get creative and signed two new full backs, Zampano on a permanent deal and Norrestrand on loan for the season.

Transfer deadline day came around and I still had £20m left in the bank to invest if I so wished. I was fairly happy with my squad however I decided if I could pick up a striker who could make a significance difference and possibly take us to the next level, then I would make the move. I stumbled upon Kevin Cannavo who had just had two good seasons at Palermo and I made him our record signing. I have since read @smplfc123's updates and seen you have had success with this player (spoiler: I have not! So far, at least...).

Pre-season and the start from hell

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I generally like to play six pre-season friendlies to build fitness and team cohesion but this was simply not possible with the early commencement of the league season. We suffered a demoralising heavy defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield, a fixture I'd have rather we had not played. Those compiling the fixture list were extremely unkind to us, pitting us against Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City in 3 of our first 5 league games. We lost all three of these games, along with a loss against Leicester, so set a negative tone for the season. Momentum is extremely important in football, and we did not have this.

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Our form picked up in September as we secured a credible draw against Tottenham. I was particularly pleased with our home and away wins against Stuttgart in the Europa League and we followed this up with away draws in Seville and Lokomotiv Moscow. We also won twice in the Carabao Cup to progress to the Quarter Final stage. Our league form seemed to pick up somewhat as we went on a run of draws, including one against Arsenal, but draws weren't enough when we needed wins. This saw us slip into an unexpected relegation battle and the most devastating result was to local rivals and fellow league strugglers Crystal Palace. The results above don't look all that bad, but when you see the league table the trouble we are in becomes apparent:

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So a big challenge lies ahead in the second half of the season, as we look to climb out of the relegation zone and avoid relegation. Many of my signings have underperformed, in particular Dahoud who has an average match rating of 6.67. The team is really struggling for goals and record signing Cannavo has only mustered one goal since joining. I think a tactical shake up is needed, and perhaps a change of personnel in January.

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The board is luckily keeping faith with me at this moment, I assume due to a combination of my past glories with the club and also our strong performances in the Europa League. We sit 1st in our Europa group with a game to play. Hopefully we can secure one final result to progress to the Knockouts. Wish me luck for the second half of the season! It is going to be a challenge to turn this season into a success, but I look forward to trying to make it work.

Edited by Dong21

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22 minutes ago, Dong21 said:

Wish me luck for the second half of the season!

Done! That's a tough start you've endured, and lot of changes with not much time to get everyone settled in and playing together. Will you get time for some morale-boosting friendlies during the World Cup? 

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9 minutes ago, warlock said:

Done! That's a tough start you've endured, and lot of changes with not much time to get everyone settled in and playing together. Will you get time for some morale-boosting friendlies during the World Cup? 

Thanks @warlock - Yes managed to line up six pre-season friendlies in advance of the league restarting, so feeling positive about that. Season restarts with the FA Cup 3rd Round, then the League Cup Quarter Final and then the crucial final Europa League group stage match - so a high pressured run!

Congrats on your start with Mansfield by the way, looking good for promotion.

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2 minutes ago, Dong21 said:

Congrats on your start with Mansfield by the way, looking good for promotion.

Thanks - we should be good if I can stop the rot of recent results. 

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@IndyManager: What an incredible rollercoaster of emotions you must have felt during that game, especially. If there's a perfect way to achieve playoff final glory - it would be something like that. A clear show of passion, desire and determination. Congratulations on achieving promotion to the Championship.

@smplfc123: Christ, you've drawn the short straw there, indeed. Good luck in those important fixtures and hopefully you can report that you've managed to keep your job. I would be very annoyed at the players for their 'couldn't care less' attitude towards the back-end of the season.

@warlock: I love that choice, as Mansfield are a great club to go with. I'm familiar with Healey too and I totally understand why you want to utilise him - he's an absolute legend for Non-League careers. Glad to see you've brought in MacDonald, as he spent time with us last season and scored a 96th minute equaliser vs Wrexham in a 3-3 on NYD (loved that!). Walker has been an absolute revelation and has a great chance of progressing as a player, both here and irl. His success has definitely benefited you and the team and it's great to see you leading the pack going into the second half of the season. Full faith in you to keep that going, despite patchy form lately. :D 

@jonathan44: Glad to hear you've started well. Some impressive signings there, in particular Xadas. Keep it going!

@Dong21: Welcome back, I was just wondering where you'd got to! :lol: A shame to see you not performing as brilliantly as you may have hoped, with signings like Dahoud letting you down, so far. I'm surprised by that, in truth, as I thought he was a fantastic piece of business and, quite simply, a steal. The Europa League campaign has gone well and you should be able to get through on the final matchday. I expect you to turn your season around though - you have too much quality as a manager to let your team roll over and go down!

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@warlock thanks for your support. good luck with Mansfield, I had an amazing save with them when they was in the conference took them all the way through got them into Europe, the only thing I didn’t love was the mustard yellow. 

@DefinitelyTaylor I have had a razz with Macclesfield but they are so poor so will be starting a new save tonight or tomorrow, ideally the lowest predicted in league 2 with an u23 squad

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1 hour ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

I'm familiar with Healey too and I totally understand why you want to utilise him - he's an absolute legend for Non-League careers

Yeah, developing well with first-team football. Just did this:

cwruyxmh.png?1

And that win takes us 15 points clear of Carlisle at the top!

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So after thinking about it for a good bit, I decided to resign as Port Vale manager. The biggest thing for me was it seemed so unlikely to do any more with this club, despite having won promotion from League Two to the Championship over four seasons. The players were united in thinking we were going back down, and after comparing wage budgets with other Championship clubs, it seems likely they are correct, as some other Championship teams have more than 5X our budget.

So I resigned in mid-June and after doing a couple of interviews, one of which seemed to assume I had resigned because I had failed at Port Vale (Hellooooo???? We just got promoted!!!!). I took a three-week vacation, with no jobs I was interested in being available. I am expecting as the season unfolds some opportunities will come up, but I did notice that last season nobody knocked on my door the way they had in the seasons before. We are now in September, and so far, not a sniff and not a job opening I am interested in. We will see what transpires, but I certainly hope I have not shot my career in the foot.


@warlock @DefinitelyTaylor

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8 minutes ago, IndyManager said:

I decided to resign as Port Vale manager

Had a feeling you might :). September is a little early for current managers to be sacked, but come November I'd expect there'll be a couple of vacant spots. Good luck!

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4 hours ago, TottenhamBoi90 said:

@DefinitelyTaylor I have had a razz with Macclesfield but they are so poor so will be starting a new save tonight or tomorrow, ideally the lowest predicted in league 2 with an u23 squad

Yeah, Macclesfield's promotion was a huge surprise to us all in the National League last season. I look forward to seeing who you go with, I think someone like Cheltenham could be interesting, or even a bang-average side like Crawley.

3 hours ago, warlock said:

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What a beautiful, beautiful man. Hero.

1 hour ago, IndyManager said:

So after thinking about it for a good bit, I decided to resign as Port Vale manager.

I understand why after you gave a little insight. As @warlock said, the jobs will come up soon - usually around November/December is when a few managers tend to be relieved of their duties. Best of luck in getting a new job, I'm sure someone will be willing to appoint a manager who has a number of promotions on his C.V.

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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XqWtYfTh.png?1

Clinched it with four games to go. Thought we were going to bottle it - dropped 10 points from our most recent five games but Carlisle, Exeter and Colchester kept swapping second to fourth between them but no-one was any more consistent than we were.

Wonder if I might get a snog off the managing director?

Spoiler

Image result for carolyn radford mansfield

And yes, that is our managing director!

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@warlock: You've absolutely flew through that first season! The same can be said for how easily you've seemingly breezed through the league. After such a fantastic season, I'm interested to see what your approach is in the summer - will you be keeping a similar squad and filling in the gaps? Good luck next season! :D 

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@DefinitelyTaylor Oh i'm very annoyed at them, but then I didn't expect that much from an ageing / injury-hit squad when i took over.

@warlock congratulations on your quick promotion with Mansfield!

@Dong21 I hope cannavo picks up for you, he was a beast for me!

Edited by smplfc123

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2 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

I'm interested to see what your approach is in the summer - will you be keeping a similar squad and filling in the gaps?

Well, there are quite a lot of gaps to fill! After the Jan window we were running with six loan signings, which was problematic. Adding to that, I have a 34-year-old CB who spent most of the year injured and is done, and a 37-year-old CM who just retired. My rotation 'keeper left in January because he wasn't happy with his game time, and although we saw out the season with an 18-year-old prospect I doubt he can do a job next year. On top of all that I switched from the 442 to a 4123wide, even though we had no natural DMs - hence the sixth loan signing.

If I have it right, we need a GK (either first choice or backup); an LB; two CBs; ideally two DMs; at least one CM; an AMR or AML (but preferably capable of playing either side); and one striker. I think I can sign Sweeney and Macdonald from loans to full-time, and Derby have already agreed to extend Elsnik's loan for another year.

A major annoyance with the way the game works is that the transfer window just opened in June but the game universe still thinks of us as an L2 team - that doesn't change until near the end of the month. So it's hard to attract anyone until the game clicks over and suddenly we'll be an L1 side. Which won't make a big difference, but every little helps :onmehead:.

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30 minutes ago, warlock said:

A major annoyance with the way the game works is that the transfer window just opened in June but the game universe still thinks of us as an L2 team - that doesn't change until near the end of the month. So it's hard to attract anyone until the game clicks over and suddenly we'll be an L1 side. Which won't make a big difference, but every little helps :onmehead:.

Agreed! I absolutely hate that small transition period, as other teams are making deals - whereas your in limbo and it's difficult to get an accurate picture of suitable targets until the game finally resets for the next season.

Just a little bit of work to be done then. Good luck with that. ;) 

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2 minutes ago, TottenhamBoi90 said:

@DefinitelyTaylor Going with my most local side in League 2, Northampton. No U23 squad but never mind. 

Good luck with the Cobblers. The likes of Matt Crooks and Kevin Van Veen should help fire you to success. :D Ironically, both have moved on irl though! :lol: 

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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So, after spending £49m in the summer, how would the season treat us?
 

Well, for the first 3 and a half months, fine. We shocked people, only lost 2 games, and found ourselves in 2nd place in the league. The highlights being a great victory against Manchester United, sealed by Josh Tymons 1st goal for the club, and a victory against Liverpool, also at home.

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There were a few things I was unhappy with, mainly the situation on the left wing.

Cody Gakpo had started the season well, but, trailed off, and after half a dozen games, he made a couple of mistakes in the match against Crystal Palace which saw the hosts come from 4-2 down to draw in the last 5 minutes.
 

This made my mind up on him, and Nacho Gil, despite being a natural right winger, became the first choice winger. The Spaniard eventually contributing 9 goals and 3 assists in the first half of the season.
 

We didn't advertise it, but, we looked for a deal for Gakpo, and when Monaco came in and offered £15m for the Dutchman, it would see us make a £9m profit in a season (paying £3m to PSV in sell ons).
 

Also departing, without playing a game, was Toni Martinez.

The 23 year old Spaniard had been sent on loan to Chaves, playing a few games, and caught the eye of Celta, who offered £3m. This saw a £3m profit in less than 6 months on him.

The last outgoing agreed, was Ruben Pena, who would depart on a free transfer to Young Boys.

image.png  

With a weakness on the left side identified, and Gakpo leaving, we needed reinforcements.

This came in the shape of 19 year old Croatian wonderkid, Antonio Marin.

Having spent a spell at Napoli on loan from his own club, NK Dinamo in 2019/20, there were clubs sniffing around, ready to make a move. A fee of £10m (£5m up front, and £5m in installments) was agreed, as were personal terms, and he joins at the start of January.

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The next target to come up was German attacking midfielder/winger, Ellas Abouchabaka. The 20 year old comes in from RBL, having spent 2 seasons at Greuther Furth. At just over £4m, and with 2 Bundesliga appearances (60+ at Bundeliga 2 and 3 Liga), hes a risk, but, the scout reports came back positive on him.

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The last 'main' signing of the window, was 18 year old Serb, Lazar Sokolov.

I see a bit of an Ivan Rakitic character here, and if he is half as good as the Croat, he'll be great. :)

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There are other signings, but, they'll be to supplement the youth setup, and will go out on loan or be developed until the end of the season.

I feel that a proper finisher is needed, and all being well, we'll get one by the end of the window.

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I may have found a finisher... :P

 

fm_JZtHjv4veV.thumb.png.250c19719c85aedb57b535479e712d16.png

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23 hours ago, warlock said:

Yeah, developing well with first-team football. Just did this:

cwruyxmh.png?1

And that win takes us 15 points clear of Carlisle at the top!

On 07/02/2019 at 07:14, DefinitelyTaylor said:

@IndyManager: What an incredible rollercoaster of emotions you must have felt during that game, especially. If there's a perfect way to achieve playoff final glory - it would be something like that. A clear show of passion, desire and determination. Congratulations on achieving promotion to the Championship.

@smplfc123: Christ, you've drawn the short straw there, indeed. Good luck in those important fixtures and hopefully you can report that you've managed to keep your job. I would be very annoyed at the players for their 'couldn't care less' attitude towards the back-end of the season.

@warlock: I love that choice, as Mansfield are a great club to go with. I'm familiar with Healey too and I totally understand why you want to utilise him - he's an absolute legend for Non-League careers. Glad to see you've brought in MacDonald, as he spent time with us last season and scored a 96th minute equaliser vs Wrexham in a 3-3 on NYD (loved that!). Walker has been an absolute revelation and has a great chance of progressing as a player, both here and irl. His success has definitely benefited you and the team and it's great to see you leading the pack going into the second half of the season. Full faith in you to keep that going, despite patchy form lately. :D 

@jonathan44: Glad to hear you've started well. Some impressive signings there, in particular Xadas. Keep it going!

@Dong21: Welcome back, I was just wondering where you'd got to! :lol: A shame to see you not performing as brilliantly as you may have hoped, with signings like Dahoud letting you down, so far. I'm surprised by that, in truth, as I thought he was a fantastic piece of business and, quite simply, a steal. The Europa League campaign has gone well and you should be able to get through on the final matchday. I expect you to turn your season around though - you have too much quality as a manager to let your team roll over and go down!

Was offered and accepted a job in The Championship  - happened on October 5 actually. It's an intriguing prospect and taking the job reminds me of a son I heard long ago..."every town...has its ups and downs..."

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2 hours ago, IndyManager said:

Was offered and accepted a job in The Championship  - happened on October 5 actually. It's an intriguing prospect and taking the job reminds me of a son I heard long ago..."every town...has its ups and downs..."

Isn't that a song from Robin Hood?

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11 hours ago, robterrace said:

Well, for the first 3 and a half months, fine. We shocked people, only lost 2 games, and found ourselves in 2nd place in the league. The highlights being a great victory against Manchester United, sealed by Josh Tymons 1st goal for the club, and a victory against Liverpool, also at home.

That's an understatement and a half, bloody hell - what a fantastic start! :D Although things may have slipped a little recently, the work you've done at Forest since joining has been brilliant and that's shown particularly in the early months of the season. 

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image.thumb.png.2e78691b776411e18344c253fce00d73.png]

Well January was fun, I signed Pohjanpalo for 700k upfront, 1.5 mil over the next 3 years and Vinagre on loan but the rest of the squad needed a cull. I support SWFC and love alot of the players I sold, but the fiances of the club are in a terrible state. Westwood, Jones, Hooper, Lee, Pudil, Winnall and Abdi were on 15k+ a week and struggled for game time (Winnall, Abdi, Hooper and Westwood didn't start a game) so they all were allowed to leave. 8 players out, 2 in, my first team squad is down to 19 players so fingers crossed on the injury front.

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Oldham Athletic - Season 3 - Part 1 - Transfers, Pre-Season and Early Season Form

Transfers:

In:

image.thumb.png.a492d43a88e9baa679da923eb79d6a9f.png

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Out:

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My main aim with this transfer window was to build a bit of squad depth with Under 23 players who had the potential to play for the first team in the future. I lost first choice goalkeeper Nienhuis to Leicester but managed to replace him with the experienced Stockdale and Man Utd's O'Hara. O'Shea, Benteke and Fane were expendable after struggling to break into my first XI to to be able to get some cash for them was too good to turn down. I'd say my biggest coup was to get Latibeaudiere on a free from Man City. He's already my best central defender and has the potential to be a Premier League one in the future. His decent leadership for such a young age makes me think he could potentially be a captain of the future.

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Pre-Season:

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To start pre-season, I decided to play two big names to get some cash into the club. Having done that, the two results were not disheartening either (especially the first one against Man Utd!). Then came an excellent win against the Juventus Under 23 side followed by 2 easy wins to boost morale.

Early Season Form

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Overall, an OK start to my first season in the Championship. All of my defeats have been by just a single goal and managed to absolutely hammer Nottingham Forest. Good EFL Cup progression too has got me a home tie against Gillingham in the third round so there's some expectation that this could continue!

Standings and Stats

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Just where I want to be, outside the relegation zone! Hopefully over the next few months I can pull away from the bottom three as my team gels and gets used to the new quality level.

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So much for no injuries...

image.png.bf0f363ee1786f12c8a4b733f054d19b.png

Currently down to one striker and no substitute CM/AM's. Changed formation to 4-3-1-2 which has been better than 5-2-2-1 which seems to stifle my strikers completely, promoted Eyad Hammoud who's a good prospect but nowhere near ready for first team football...

image.thumb.png.8406e2ab877ddec20b98edcd8f87916e.png

Heading into the end of feb and now in 1st which is a minor miracle with5 of my first team out injured... Wish me luck.

 

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@robterrace If there was a trophy for transfer business you'd win it every season :lol:. Looks like your wheeling and dealing is working, though.

@IndyManager Will be interested to see where you're going. 'Ups and downs'... Rotherham?

@jonathan44 Never mention injuries! Fantastic performance so far, and hopefully you'll be able to survive the crisis without too much damage.

@Chevie That's a wholesale transformation. I don't know most of them, but the Man Utd youngsters are all good prospects (I picked up Helm in my Darlington save and he's doing well in L2). And Stockdale is a quality keeper - if you scroll down the list of past clubs you'll find Darlington down there!

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7 hours ago, robterrace said:

Isn't that a song from Robin Hood?

Why yes it is, and I see from your sig you are a Forest expert. I'd ask for some inside help but in Season  5, I see exactly two first team players who are on the current roster IRL. TWO!!! I might also add that the squad sucks air, quality-wise, and I have way too many players over 30. I'm looking at it as players have three months until Jan. 1 and everyone is on audition.  The board want me to develop youth players and I can see why.

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Fringe players are awesome.. :P

 

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@warlock Congrats on winning League 2 with Mansfield! Good luck in League One.

@DefinitelyTaylor @smplfc123 Thanks both!

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I have a bit of good news - got the result that I needed to ensure qualification for the Knockouts of the Europa League. Pacheco's late goal was the difference between us exiting the competition and winning our group! RB Liepzig await in the next round.

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It's probably been discussed on these boards by people who started playing earlier in the FM '19 cycle than me, but I've now run into the 2022 World Cup and while I've scheduled some friendlies, it is going to be a boring time IRL. It dawned on me late why we were playing so many midweek games. Especilly for the 46-match leagues, that is going to be one grueling schedule, with a big gulf in the middle. I hope I am able to balance training, rest and friendlies properly during this time.

After a decent run of results here lately, we've moved a bit clear of the relegation battle. My board is asking for just that.

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@IndyManager I'm at exactly the same point in my career too. Played a batch of six friendlies in December to pass the time and keep the players match fit. I generally find pre-season to be fairly dull, apart from concluding transfer deals, and you can't even do that in December - so not ideal!

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So, the in game date is the middle of February, but, hear me out.
 

We've spent another £30m in this transfer window, making signings that will work out for the best, as well as bringing in about £35m in return.
 

First up, the outgoings.

Several loan signings departed, and whilst, not all paid loan fees, all were having their wages paid.

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As well as Gakpo leaving at the start of the window, several players left, including Unai Bustinza, who had been on the fringes of the first team all season, and Pape Cheikh, who despite signing in July, found his chances marginalized by the emergence of Ryan Gauld alongside Yates.

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There was one more deal, which, at the time of writing this, was still going through, and that was for Tobias Figueiredo, my vice captain, for whom we had accepted a £25m offer from Inter. It wouldn't complete until the end of the season, but, would see a welcome bit of money come in for another player, who, due to incoming signings would be on the fringes.
 

 

The incomings..
 

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At the end of my last post, I said that we needed a new striker.
 

One was found, not very long afterwards, in the shape of AC Milan striker, Patrick Cutrone.

For £11m, its not a massive risk, and hes an improvement on what we had before. however, he arrives short on confidence and fitness, having only managed 3 starts in his 14 appearances at the San Siro.
 

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Next up came Scottish U21 centre back, Sam Mitchell. At 17 years old, hes one for the future, however, he'd appeared in the Champions League at Celtic, and again, had the right sort of attributes for what I want, although, with a little bit of work, he'll be better.

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Jordan Thorniley was the next arrival, for a fee of £6m. A solid defender who had been playing at Championship level for the last few seasons, he offers something across the backline, as well as being homegrown.

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Finally, at the end of the window, two signings came in that allowed me to deal with the impending departure of Figueiredo, and the departure of Joe Lumley earlier in the window.
 

First, Mexican central defender, Edson Alvarez arrived from America in his home land, where he had made nearly 150 appearances. A current Mexican international, he will slot in alongside Mepham, and be a vast improvement on our previous centre halves.

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Lastly, Predrag Rajkovic came in from AS Roma, for £900k. He'd been appearing at the top of my scouting lists for some time, and had just been transfer listed at Roma, where he had made 4 appearances since signing from Maccabi Tel-Aviv 3 seasons ago. He'd need a preseason workout before coming into the squad, but, he offers a potential improvement on Joel Pereira.

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@jonathan44: You've had really bad luck with the financial and injury situation at the club. I rate the signing of Pojhanpalo and hopefully he can help get you some goals. You'll miss those players though, especially Bannan and Forestieri.

@Chevie: A lot of signings! :lol: I have to admit, I had my doubts upon seeing the quality brought in - but I have been pleasantly surprised and it's great to see you sitting outside the bottom three, early on. Hopefully you can remain there for the remainder of the season, as that can definitely be considered a success.

@Dong21: What a dramatic way to seal your place in the knockout stages! Congratulations.

@IndyManager: Good luck at Forest. I'm pleased to hear you've got some early results!

@robterrace: I think you've definitely improved the squad there. The sale of Figueiredo is very impressive - I never would have expected you to get such a fee for him. Alvarez seems a great replacement, with quality and age on his side, he can only improve. Plenty of potential in these arrivals. Well done on what looks to be a fantastic window.

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5 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

 

@robterrace: I think you've definitely improved the squad there. The sale of Figueiredo is very impressive - I never would have expected you to get such a fee for him. Alvarez seems a great replacement, with quality and age on his side, he can only improve. Plenty of potential in these arrivals. Well done on what looks to be a fantastic window.

Thanks, was more than happy to get that much. Would have accepted anything from about £12m upwards for him, so, £25m is great, especially when I'll get 3 or 4 seasons from his replacement, and the replacement of the replacement is already at the club (17 years old, and will play alongside him whenever I let Mepham leave).

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Unfortunately, it didn't last long. I wasn't able to bring in much quality in the summer and despite winning the opening game of the season away to Reading, 2 consecutive defeats to Hull at home and Preston away led the board to pull the plug, as I wasn't going to reach 10 points from the first 5 games. 

Will take stock and look for a new challenge tonight!

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Unlucky @smplfc123, attracting decent quality players to swfc is always difficult. And following on from a SWFC post into another.

So first season I won the league, Leeds joined me in 2nd and QPR who were second all year til the final 2 weeks won the playoffs.

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My player of the season was probably Jordan Thorniley, who was very impressive at both CB and LB. Tbh, my team isn't the best, but with 4-3-1-2 we found real balance in the second half of the season, Pelupessy played really well in the Carrilero position which really gave balance between midfield and attack.

 

So the summer arrived and I went after a number of players as last season my injury prone squad was very low on numbers (I didn't pick 7 subs for most of the games in Feb/March). Lincoln and Dalbert were highlighted in my scouts/analysts as 85+ rated, but neither passed the work permit requirements (this reminded me why I enjoy managing in Italy so much...) Verder Bremen had been relegated and Veljkovic available for 8 million, he was happy to agree a contract but decided against coming to Hillsborough to join Bayer04. Otherwise heres my transfers:

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My midfield last year wasn't the strongest and with Onomah returning to Spurs after his successful loan, I decided to spend the majority of my budget on Grealish, Jae-Sung and Tonali. The latter two can play both CM and CAM so adds a bit of depth for when Foden is inevitably injured. With Thorniley playing LB in a back 4, I really needed a CB as Hector returned to Chelsea after his loan, so in came Vavro. He rejected me twice before eventually joining. Bonatini joined to provide an option upfront, he's not gonna score 20 goals a year but should be a good foil for Pohjanpolo who I'm hoping will be my main man this year.

 

Jordan Thorniley attracted 4 bids, 2 from each of Bournemouth and QPR when the window opened, but with only 10% of the transfer money coming into the budget, I've decided against many outgoings. The only major outgoing that's not documented is Jordan Rhodes leaving on a free transfer. With a 50% wage increase upon promotion and not even close to being good enough for the Premierleague, termination of £1 million was worth it.

 

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Charlton Athletic - Season 5 - Part 2

Winter break and a fresh start

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Thanks to World Cup 2022, December saw us conduct a mid-season pre-season. We mainly played weaker opposition as, along with building fitness, one of my main objectives was to try and build up the confidence of my mis-firing forwards. Cannavo and Markovic scored five goals apiece, so I considered this mission complete. A 4-1 win against Turkish giants Galatasaray was also reassuring.

The season recommenced with a trip to the City Ground in the FA Cup and I was worried all the good work in our friendlies had been fruitless as well were defeated after extra time. However after that game our form did pick up and we did not suffer defeat for six games. I've previously mentioned our result against Sevilla which took us through to the Knockouts of the Europa League. Thanks to long-term injuries to Engels and Antov, and the suspension of Jones, we only had one centre back available for this game. Second choice left back Husband stepped in and we secured the result we needed. Defensive midfielder Mendy had been trialed there against Nottm Forest and had played very poorly.

Our cup form continued as well secured big wins against Forest and Watford. Interestingly the Semi Final was only one leg due to the World Cup - this is also the case for the Europa League First & Second Knockout rounds. A 2-2 draw with Chelsea is a good result on paper, but I was actually very frustrated as we had been 2-0 up before conceding in the 87th and 93rd minutes. A win against Fulham and a draw with Leicester were important points on the board. The final game of the month was also annoying as we were 2-0 up once again, before losing 3-2 (with one of the goals being a ridiculous own goal from Phil Jones...).

Transfers

I only made three transfers during the January window, but I was very pleased with each piece of business.

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The first signing was young attacking midfielder Christian Frydek, a snip at £5.5m from Sparta Prague. In the first half of the season we had played either 4-1-2-2-1 (wide) or 4-4-2. The Frydek deal was arranged in September and I had high hopes for him, so during December I switched to a 4-2-3-1 which we played in all six friendlies, which was all designed to get the best out of him. As you can see from my results, he has had an immediate impact.

The next signing was Ahmed Abdel Latif who arrived from Al Ahly in Egypt for £450k. At only 19 years old he is already rated better than my backup keepers Badiashile and Steer, with lots of potential to improve. He is certainly one for the future.

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Finally, it wouldn't be a transfer window for me without a deadline day signing. I identified our leaky defence as a key issue and was aware that we did not have a top quality defensive midfielder in the squad to provide cover for them. With funds limited, I moved for Rui Pires who joins on loan from Porto till the end of the season at a cost of £250k per month. The only outgoings were the departure of fringe players going out on loan.

Cup success

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The European adventure rolled on as we pulled off a huge victory against RB Leipzig at The Valley. This has set up a clash with Shakhtar in the next round. Two more league defeats meant the pressure remained firmly on us as we stayed in the Premier League relegation zone. This was soon forgotten though as we were victorious in the Carabao Cup! Considering our league form I was shocked at how straight forward this victory turned out to be. You may recall that Dahoud has been particularly poor for me this season but all was forgiven when he turned hero in the cup final by getting the scoring started. We finished the month by beating fellow strugglers Watford and achieving a late comeback against Forest. Markovic came off the bench and scored the two late important goals to secure the point. The Liverpool, Watford and Forest results were extra special because due to an injury to Jones my new midfield signing Pires was drafted in to cover and he performed admirably.

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Still work to do...

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Despite our League Cup and European success there is still a lot of work to do and my job hangs in the balance. We still sit in the relegation zone with only a few months of the season left to go. We have a few games in hand but they are never a given. Fingers crossed I am still in the job to lead us into Europe once again next season!

Edited by Dong21

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6 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

despite winning the opening game of the season away to Reading, 2 consecutive defeats to Hull at home and Preston away led the board to pull the plug

Harsh! But we knew it was going to be tough. Better luck with your next assignment :thup:.

4 hours ago, jonathan44 said:

So first season I won the league

Well done that man! I just about managed a safe first season in the PL - I'm sure you'll do much better.

3 hours ago, Dong21 said:

Despite our League Cup and European success there is still a lot of work to do and my job hangs in the balance.

Winning a cup and Europa League qualification is a great achievement. Hope you can pull off PL survival - it would be incredibly unlucky to have done that and still get the sack.

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Mansfield Town: Season 2 - L1

Going into our first season in the higher division, it would be fair to say I wasn't confident. Imagine my surprise when the bookies tipped us for a lower-mid-table finish, although everyone at the club from the board to the least-favoured sub was up for a fight-against-relegation season.

Transfer business

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Before the first season ended I made enquiries to all of the teams whose players we had on loan - and who had done so much to earn the title. Unfortunately, in the case of star striker Ty Walker, Nottingham Forest not only declined any transfer discussions but refused to allow us to extend his loan. In the January window I had loaned in Jack Clarke from Leeds (and he bagged a few goals for us) and Leeds agreed to extend his loan for another season. Similarly, Derby allowed us Timi Elsnik for another year. Elsewhere, Stoke and Derby were prepared to entertain offers for CB Ryan Sweeney and LB Calum Macdonald, respectively, and they were duly signed.

Also in January - with the switch to a 4123dm - I had loaned in Ben Close as a DM from Portsmouth, and they were happy to extend the loan for another season. And as backup for that position, I signed promising youngster Liam Coyle from Liverpool. We also needed a 'keeper, and I spotted that Brentford had released Jack Bonham, so he was snapped up on a free. Similarly, Wolves had released Sylvain Deslandes and he joined on a free as backup to Sweeney at left CB. Feeling in need of more (and better) cover in midfield, I signed Ryan Watson, who had been released by MK Dons, and Oliver Shenton, who was available for nothing on loan from Stoke.

We were also in need of a decent wide player and I spotted ex-Accrington man Jordan Clark available on a free. His attributes looked pretty good for this level, so he was signed on a free and started the season at a blistering pace, bagging two goals in our opening league games before succumbing to a muscle strain that has caused him to miss most of the opening month.

Our final signing was former Hemel Hempstead striker Reece Miller, who my scouts rated as a good future prospect. He joined on a free and will either develop in the U23s or hopefully give us a small profit if/when sold.

Early results

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Got to be happy with this. Even if the betting industry expected us to avoid relegation this season, no-one could have predicted this kind of start.

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And at the end of August we sit top of the table.I wouldn't say we've breezed through the early fixtures - some of those results were very hard-earned - but so far, so good!

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@smplfc123: That's some tough luck. Good luck in your next venture, where hopefully it'll be more successful.

@jonathan44: Congratulations on promotion and the league title - very impressive given the number of injuries that were thrown your way to key players. The business made is decent in my eyes, with Grealish and Vavro looking to be the best out of the lot - with Tonali having real potential. Losing out on three players for different reasons must have been a pain in the proverbial... Well done on keeping Thorniley around! Good luck for the season ahead.

@Dong21: It amazes me that you're in the bottom three, as the form doesn't seem to suggest you would be. But I guess it's down to the number of wins:draws ratio. Well done on claiming the Carabao Cup too, that's a nice little accomplishment and allows you to have Europa League football again, no matter what. It's interesting that the World Cup has caused competitions to be minimised to one leg, although it does make sense. Wonder if that will be replicated in real life? Some tidy business that should see you get out the bottom three soon - I would be very surprised if you remained there. Full faith in you!

@warlock: Hopefully Tyler Walker won't be too much of a miss for you, although I can imagine replacing his goals will be a tough challenge. But, Jack Clarke definitely has the quality to find the net for you and the arrivals of Elsnik, Sweeney and MacDonald, with the latter two on permanent deals are great to see. Ben Close certainly has the experience of L1 to help you this season and your other signings, especially Shenton look appealing. Clarke has started the season on fire, which is terrific. The positive pre-season seems to have transcended into good early form - with another positive being a tight back-line that has kept a number of clean-sheets already. The longer you can keep this positive form going, the better. Good luck! :D 

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Erm.. Appoint a new HOYD, and this happens..

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Erm. ****. Hes good.

 

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5 minutes ago, robterrace said:

Hes good.

Unreal!!

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Unreal doesn't quite cover it... He basically looks like Ronaldo at 16! I've always wanted to play a Ramdeuter as well.

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On 05/02/2019 at 16:31, CapaJr said:

Ladies and Gentleman, please gather around here for a historical FM achievement :kriss:

 

FIRST SEASON WITH BLACKBURN: LEAGUE LEADER WITH 111 PONTS!!

SECOND SEASON WITH BLACKBURN IN EPL: FINISHED 3RD, ONE MORE WEEK TO GO. 

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Nice work mate. Some great signings. 

Ive got a great save with Rovers at moment. Got promoted first season coming second. In pre season and being raped of players currently.

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Muddling along as those has been a hard team and season re squad management at Forest. We have finally produced some decent results including a vital 2-0 away rivalry win at Derby County to push us to 15th, but we are still just five points clear of the drop with 13 matches remaining. 

My main winter signing, Evan Guessand of Nice, scored his first goal in that one so I'm a bit relieved  I have to say the game has gotten much more intricate in so many ways. There are still some counter intuitive moments with player interaction, but overall, it's a much better and more enjoyable game.

 

 

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Hello.

I am contemplating starting a new save with Coventry City. As you probably already know the club is struggling financially. My question is: what has happened with Coventry in your save?
Did they change owners and manage to become a stable club, or did they end up being bankrupt and relegated? A screenshot of their history of owners would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

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